Friday, January 16, 2009

Blog Posts Before Aug 2007 (Before Our Move to Virginia)

July 11
Too hot to handle
We got off our airplane yesterday to 97 degree weather in SLC. What is up with that.

Lately we've been up to...

All of us- visiting family in Wisconsin and Indiana and having so much fun playing card games, riding in canoes and conquering waterslides. Oh and the food! John's mom stops at nothing to make sure we are well fed and full of good some ice cream and strawberry pie for good measure..

Sophia latest hobby is alternating between beating up adn loving her sister natalie. Such is life as a younger sister. Oh and swimming in the pool when we're sweating in the heat.

Natalie now sitts up and hangs out in ready to crawl position. Last night she pulled up to a stand in her crib. What the heck.

Oh and Sophia likes to say "what the heck." I wonder where she got that from.

John has finished his thesis, passed it off, got the necessary signatures and it will be submitted to the dean by the 13th, in time for august graduation. We're currently talking to recruiters from various places on the east coast and midwest, and one job in Orem utah. We'll see what happens. No matter what, we're moving out of our apartment here in Provo on July 31st, then we're off wherever the job is.

I have ventured into making cute baby barettes and clips, some felt embroidered ones, some ribbon and hot glue ones. Easy to do when the baby's sleeping and quite pratical...and so trendy (in the preschool set).

Check out our pics from the last month!

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April 30
Let's give a big hand for you....
We've had lots of fun times in our house recently. Some recent accomplishments-

1. John is done with classes! Just on to his thesis and we are finished. For good.

2. Sophia is potty trained! She's still into fruit snacks for every time she goes, but she holds it and is doing great...

3. Jacki has started compiling the picture dvds to catalog every second of our children's lives. That's what it feels like. Digital cameras are a curse and a blessing. What do you do with all those photos of the momentous minutes that could not pass without documentation? I don't miss all the pictures that were not taken during my awkward middle school years and high school fashion atrocities....but somehow I know I will miss the pictures I don't take of sophia's and natalie's little and big accomplishments. Sometimes I take pictures of them because I know someday the absolutely adorable shirt they're wearing won't fit anymore and will be passed on. Is that bad?

4. We blessed Natalie on sunday. It was great to have Grandma and Grandpa Daley in town for the weekend. They came to see Holly graduate, and dick cheney speak, and be there at the blessing. I forgot to take pictures at this event. DANG IT. I will just have to take a picture of her in the dress tommorow, and photoshop everyone else in. Or something.

5.Have you noticed I like lists?

6. I started playing softball with my ward's women intramural team. We stink, but that's not the point of my playing.

7. I designed the family reunion t-shirt for this summer...almost. I'm planning on cementing it in stone and converting by Friday.

8. Holly likes a boy. This is a big deal, because, well, a good man is hard to find.

9. We scoped out the Daley farm in Nephi. It was great to be out in the wilderness. Warning- here come some cliches- There's somethign peacefull and cleansing about being in a wide open space and seeing grass grow in every cranny and see things the way God designed them, rather than us lowly humans. On sunday, a day later, I had the same feeling when we visited the temple grounds with the kiddies. Both places felt like a world until themselves. Also, it's great to wear a cowboy hat. I just feel so much cooler in a cowboy hat. Holly's got a picture of me in one in case anyone wants to see.

Love you all

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April 08
Happy Easter
We have had an eventful last few months. From February to April, we had:
Jacki's birthday (hurray)
A brand new AWESOME computer for my birthday (double hurray)
A handmedown Digital SLR (60 hoorays for all the pictures I took today alone)
2 nights in the hospital (scary but little natalie is healthy now)
two attempts at potty training interrupted (frustrating)
7 days of my sister Carrie visiting from md (so fun)
One business interview and job offer from a San Francisco consulting company (we'll see)
All night study sessions as John conquers an impossible graduate math class
5 new characters for sophia to spot- S, U, A, 1, 2, 4 (she's a genius, i know, i know)
one amazing Mervyn's sale shopping spree (gotta love easter dresses for 8 dollars)
One toddler sickness coinciding with mom sickness (worse than the hospital stay)
Two viewings of Nacho Libre (been quoting it all weekend)
one toddler stuck on a trax train (scariest 20 minutes of my life)
Cinderella and the same 10 library books two times a day for 3 weeks (mesmorizing)
Newfound interest in crafty design mom blogs (inspiration for a future occasion)
One cooing baby....that sleeps from 11 pm-7 am! (refreshing)
General Conference and chocolate fruit dipping during priesthood (relaxing rejuvinating and scrumptious)
Two easter egg hunts (BYU- sophia's too shy to grab the eggs. At Home- somehow 30 eggs and one kid sends the wrong message)
and a whole lot of orange-banana-strawberry smoothies and wholemade wheat rolls (kids eat fruit if it's pink and whole wheat if it's in the shape of a dinosaur)
Taken all together...not a bad month!
A recent conversation...
John- whatcha got there sophia? Sophia- (hands cupped together at her waist)- A kitty
John- what's it's name? Sophia- Doggy.
J- what are you doing? S- Doggy needs to check his email.
Another time....As we drive to church, and Natalie is crying...Sophia says "It's ok Natalie, we're almost there. Look it's the park. See, we'll be there in a minute...." What is this wet thing in my eye? !
Well, this next month should be great. The sun is out now, we're all about playing outside, especially with a front and back yard so accessible. I planted flowers (not the pretty tulips in the yard, but little fledgling seeds in metal buckets). John just wants to get through the next two weeks, then it's thesis writing time, and he'll have more time. We will start potty training next week, and this time we will not be interrupted! Goodbye diapers (well during the day at least)...
Happy Spring! Hope you enjoy the pictures.

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January 21
Natalie is here!
She's here! Last Thursday, the 18th of January, Natalie arrived in the world at 7:41 am. She was 7 lbs 15 oz and 19.5 inches long. I'm doing well, I came home from the hospital today (Sunday). Pain pills make that possible. As you can see from the pictures, little Natalie has darker long hair, and cute little features. She's started gaining weight and so far as been a delightful baby. She's a squeaky baby and when she goes to the bathroom the whole world knows. Sophia met Natalie on Friday, and talks to her in a super high voice. Sophia was quite perplexed to see that I still had a belly after the baby was born, she pointed to my belly and said- Who's in there? Now that she understands how it works, she tells me all the time that the baby came out. She "made" Natalie a peanut butter sandwich when she arrived home, and enjoys being wrapped up like a "burrito" just like Natalie. We're all doing well and hope you enjoy the pictures! Sorry for the fuzzy ones. Jacki
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October 21
Leaves are falling all around...
We've had a lot of adventures lately.

If you look at the pictures from August, you'll see we went to Niagara Falls and spent time at the Daley's house in Indiana. Here in Utah we've stayed close to home, but spent lots of time playing outside. Recently we went to the pumpkin patch at Thanksgiving Point with our ward playgroup. As you can tell there were tons of fun things to do. We found pumpkins in the field, Sophia rode the cow train, went on a hayride, down huge slides and watched some pigs race. They also have a jumping pillow (50 foot trampoline type pillow full of compressed air) and a corn maize, along iwth a corn box (sandbox only with corn kernels)...but we didn't get any pictures on those.

Today we went to the BYU homecoming parade and ate blue pancakes and watched every club, organization and department at BYU dance or drive by. Sophia missed most of the parade, as she was intently focused on unwrapping a tootsie roll, or busy mourning the balloons floating into the sky. Her new favorite sentences are "I'll be right back" as she leaves a room and "That's funny" whenever she makes a joke or does something silly. I made her a purple monkey costume for halloween which consists of a purple capelet with monkey ears and purple pants with a detachable tale.

John has been interviewing and applying to a few jobs in the past few weeks, if you want more details give us a call. We are comparing them all, some on the east, some on the west, so if you want us to move near you, you should start sending the bribery gifts soon. He He.

We hope you enjoy the pictures, let us know if you want a copy of any of them. (The pictures on the web are slightly compressed, I can send a full sized if desired.)


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April 30
The Leavens Production is Here!
Hey everyone! We are pleased to announce the release of the first, debut edition of the Leavens Family DVD, Spring 2006! Look for it soon in your mailbox! It plays on a standard DVD player so you don't have just limit the fun to your PC!

I would post pic now on the website but they are all on your DVD coming soon! Hey, who exactly is current with this website? Do I still need to email yall and tell you news?

Let me know,
Sidney is crawling all over me so I gotta jet.........

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April 20
April Sunshine
It's a lovely thursday and the sunshine is streaming into our windows. It's naptime. Naptimes are great. I love em.

My sister came to visit recently, over her easter break. We went to the mall, the beach, did a mini tour of Uconn, and spent a lot of time taking silly pictures of Sophia for my parents. We didn't do an egg hunt for Sophia, because we believe in starving our children of fun. I'm kidding. Sophia has been hiding eggs around the house and finding them, and she has no expectation of candy inside, something I doubt will happen next year. We had a quiet easter dinner of deluxe tuna salad sandwiches, bunny shaped rolls and tomato soup. I know, we just go all our on the holidays. Sophia did wear her flower girl dress to church on Sunday and got many rave reviews from the relief society fashion divas. Speaking of fashion, I thought it of note to mention that both Sophia and I bought gauchos this week at target. Each under 10 dollars. I love target, and they obviously love me, because I keep going back.

When we went to the beach we had a great time. We almost got lost in the little beach town trying to get to the beach, but we findally found our way out of the roads that were designed circa 1750. We found a cute little hamburger shack by the beach and got chili fries and hamburgers, and fried clams for me (because I'm all about the seafood). Sophia loved chasing the ocean back and getting splashed with water on her feet. She wanted to jump right in, even though it was 65 degrees outside and about 40 degree water. It was so funny to see her studying the water and waves as she tried to figure out what was going on and why we were there. Needless to say, we'll be going back to the beach this summer.

The ward here has started making use of our willingness to serve. John has been teaching iwth the missionaries to Latino investiagators about once a week for the last month. He also has been subbing every once in a while for Primary. I now am coordinating the craft group for our enrichment groups, and I will be a semi-permaneant sub for primary, plus my exisitng activity days callings. They just reorganized the primary so I don't know how long it will take until they can find a new teacher. My class will only have two 6 year old girls, whom I already know, so it's no big thing.

Sophia is a little ball of sunshine, and her newest trick is repeating everything we say. So now John and I are watching our words and our tone. She really likes dinosaurs and monkeys right now and absolutely loves putting on lotion. We went to build a bear workshop while my sister was here, and sophia made a monkey. She doesn't ever call it monkey though, it's "hoo hoo hoo."

We hope everyone had a Happy Easter.

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April 09
Noggin! We love it!
Sophia and I have found a great site for kids music videos. I think the other tater tots in the family will enjoy, I know Madelyn loves to dance... This is the directory of noggin music videos, they come up in windows media player. Sophia loves the dinosaur song and pig on her head song, and stop and go. The songs have ready made actions so Sophia dances around while watching rather than just standing there transfixed. John likes the wittiness of all the moose and zee songs and he sings them and makes up alternate lyrics. This is the whole curious george soundtrack (streaming for free!) Jack Johnson performs most of the songs and Ben Harper and G love are featured too. The songs are great mellow songs that don't get on your nerves like other children's music. also has some fun games, all geared towards 3-6 year olds. The website is set up for little kids so they don't have to read to know where to go, with a voice that speaks for the written words and lots of big symbols so it's easier for kids to navigate than other sites.
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April 05
Mormon Duck
So I was looking for a flashing LED duck for sophia for easter, and I came across this.... (from I guess we've developed an icon worthy of a rubber duck.
Mormon LDS Elder and Sister Missionary Ducks
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April 02
Conference Sunday
How was everyone's conference weekend?

John and I listened to it on BYU classical 89 on the internet and played with Sophia while we listened. I feel like conference is so overwhelming, my brain hurts from all the doctrine and new understandings I have from this weekend. We went to the park today to get out of the house. The elementary school by our house has a acre sized wooded area with over 5 squirrels that live there and a ton of birds. Sophia is in heaven. She runs after the squirrels and waves hello and then acts like a squirrel. This is achieved by pulling her hands next to her mouth and pretending to eat nuts while crouching over, so funny because she makes a high pitched squel as she "eats" the nuts.

So did anyone pull any April Fool's Jokes? We pulled one on Laura. We emailed them and told them we were moving back to provo and would just move into the apartment with them until August. When laura called me she was totally fooled and telling me about who's apartment they could move to in April. He He I don't know if it's legal to lie like that, but it sure is fun...We had a good laugh about it after I told her the joke. On Saturday morning I went to a suprise baby shower for my friend April, so we literally fooled April on April's Fool's Day. I didn't try any jokes on Johnny, but I heard of one person that froze a bowl of cereal and milk the night before with spoon inside and then served it to their kids the next morning. Also, I heard of a Mom that switched all her children into different beds while they were sleeping, so the kids just woke up in a different bed. That would have totally freaked me out if someone did that to me.

I just finished uploading most of Laura and Mark's wedding pictures to a new photo album. And I added the recent pictures of Madelyn to the March album, the ones Meggan has sent out recently. This weekend I looked at my friend Barb's photo website of her daughter, who's a year old, and she has over 400 pictures of her daughter on this site, half of them being from her in home studio. It made me want to get all the nieces in cute outfits and just take pictures of them being goofy and themselves. Maybe that's an activity we should do at our next reunion, get some dress up clothes and get all the kids in front of a plain sheet pinned to the wall, with simple stools and props to play with. We can play "vogue" by madonna in the background and teach the kids how to pose like supermodels. Or maybe we don't want them to aspire to be that...nevermind.

Right now it's hard to take pictures of Sophia because she's so excited to see the camera, she charges me and I can't get candid shots. She has started saying "Madelyn" everytime she sees a picture of a baby, even when it's a picture of her. I think this is because Madelyn was on the March calendar. She calls out madelyn when she sees the camera because she can watch videos of herself on there, and apparently she calls herself Madelyn.

Hey Leaven's Family- Thanks for the indepth email. I'm excited that Rachel won for best outfits. We all knew she had an eye for fashion, this only proves it. I think I need to get a pair of gaucho's because all my old capris don't fit quite right and I hear gaucho's are really comfortable (not to mention that my sister Carrie says everyone has a pair, everyone that matters in her hometown, I suppose). So when is the Leaven's ski trip going to arrive at Sundance? You guys should come next year and we can party in P-town. 5 free babysitters all in one place...

I hope everyone had a great weekend. If you want to post things to the site but it's not working, you can email it to me and I'll post it for ya, or walk you through it.

Love ya

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