Thursday, December 26, 2013

Happy New Year from the Lee/Leavitt Family!

I am one of those people that enjoy reading annual updates from friends and family. If you are one of those people too, keep reading.

As usual, it's been an interesting year for us. Try as we might, we just can't seem to go long without moving. I think we have lived in every neighborhood in this town. Currently we are in a little farmhouse cottage that I have great plans for decorating the inside and gardening outside. It has room for all of us, all of our vehicles, my vintage trailer, any scrap wood I drag home, and an assortment of other accouterments. (That word just doesn't look as good spelled as it sounds with a french accent.)

My people are growing. And I am a blessed mom to have them all still in town.

Alexa is still married, :) and she and her husband Eric blessed me with the sweetest little grand daughter, Ella. 

We love having them close and seeing them often. Eric is a student at Eastern Oregon College and works at an elementary school, Alexa has an online graphic design business A.Lee Creative, and is a great mom and home maker, and Ella keeps us all entertained. On Christmas we learned that they are expecting my second grand child in early July. We are all so excited to see what the next little cutie will be.

Zoey is 19, a supervisor at Burger King, and starting college in January. She is a hard worker, responsible, and always looking out for others and stray animals. She recently bought herself a new truck which we have all enjoyed riding around in, and made most of our Christmas goodies this year. Mmm mmm. Guess those cook books I gave her are coming in handy! She lives in an apartment across town but comes home every week to do her laundry. I keep trying to get her to move back home, but she likes not having younger siblings always getting into her stuff. Her Christmas list this year included mostly small kitchen appliances and other 'living on your own' necessities.

Max is a senior this year and planning his graduation trip to Cabo and living with some of his "buds" this summer. He wants to be a wild land fire fighter, and an EMT.  He goes to school all day, works most evenings until midnight or so at Burger King, and still finds time to keep his grades up and enjoy his favorite past time, duck hunting. He likes to tease his little brother and sister, and give his mom a hard time, but he's a pretty good kid. He bought himself a truck this year, as well and has enjoyed fixing it up to his liking. Next on his list is a black grill and a lift kit. 

Riley is 13 and in the 7th grade. She is into fashion and make up and snap chatting. She helps out around the house and I love it when she gets on a cleaning kick. She has her sister Zoey's soft spot for animals and is always wanting to bring home some stray or another. She and Zoey should open an animal refuge. She is a One Direction fan, likes singing, making videos, and trying out different hair styles with her long, thick hair. She is the only one of my daughters who was all girl at her age. The other two were quite tom boys until high school. Sadly, she doesn't much like my input into what I think would look cute on her, however she has adopted a sweater from a box of my old clothes and likes wearing it. But don't remind her I picked it out or she won't like it anymore. :) She enjoyed playing volleyball last fall and looks forward to basketball after the winter break. 

Eli is 11 and in the 6th grade. He and Riley attend the same middle school but don't see each other during the day, much to both of their delight. His favorite thing in doors is playing on X-box and out doors, having air soft wars. Every year he hosts an air soft war with some of his friends and its quite cute to see a group of boys running around in the trees and brush having the time of their lives. He is sensitive to others, takes good care of his mom, and is always making sure everyone is getting along. 
It's a rare day you will find him wearing long pants. He loves his shorts, even in below freezing weather. I keep waiting to get a call from the school asking me to please make sure my son is dressed appropriately for the weather. He played football this fall and looks forward to baseball in the spring.

I have kept busy doing Sister Shic sales. We had sales in Walla Walla, Stanfield, the one we host in October, and then four sales before the holidays. Sister Shic keeps me busy from spring through Christmas, busy but fun. I also help my kids with whatever they need and wonder how I ever had time to work full time. I have a non-profit that I am looking forward to developing more in the coming year, and have a couple of trips I hope to be able to take with my vintage trailer. 

If you are in the area in the coming year we would love to have you stop and say hello, and if we make it to your neck of the woods, we'll do the same.

Have the best New Year and thank you for being a part of our lives and letting us be a part of yours!

Love, the Lee/Leavitt family

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"Sing Me A Song, You're The Piano Man"

I have always wanted an old, upright piano. You know the ones, super heavy, nearly impossible to move, but elegant in their own way. And when I got one I wanted it to look much like this:
Gorgeous, right?! I love this! It's like an old fireplace that plays music and can be moved to wherever you may move, (albeit not very easily!)

I lucked into one a few years ago but my joy was short lived when I ended up changing jobs and moved out of town for a year. The old piano I had just acquired, went to a new home because I couldn't take it with me.

Fast forward to a few months ago. There is a second hand store in town that I like to go to once in awhile, and on one visit they had two of these lovely old pianos! Two! One was $80 and the other was $120. Both too much for my budget, but I decided to keep my eye on them to see if the price went down, after all, who besides me would want such a treasure? After several weeks, the piano's were both marked down to $40, but still too much for my budget. I kept watching. One was more ornate than the other one, and it was the one I really had my eye on. I went in one day and it was gone! Argh! I decided I'd better make a move on the other one, though not as ornate, lovely just the same. I asked the store owner if she would take$20 for it and she said yes!

I got Max and several of his friends to help me get it from the store to home. As it turns out, one of his friends that came to help move it, was also a member of the family that previously owned it. Small world!

Isn't she lovely?
I have plans to paint her white, soon, but wanted to enjoy her browness during the autumn months. She has sat there silent for a few weeks, and then the other evening at church my daughter, Riley, learned a simple tune on the piano that she was excited about and came home and played it for us. And played it, and played it. Well, if she was going to play the piano, why not learn some other tunes? I have a stash of vintage sheet music, and in my stash are a few piano lesson books, a couple of them for beginners. I got them out and gave them to Riley, and so began a study in earnest of how to play the piano. She has gone through several of the songs and written the notes in letters i.e. C D E F...Next she cut out the letters that represent the notes and put them on the piano keys. She has taught herself to play several songs this way, Old McDonald,  Mary Had a Little Lamb, O Come All Ye Faithful, and more. It's fun to see her so excited, and it's nice to hear music come out of the lovely old piano.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Out With the Olde

We didn't get a card and letter in the mail, I was thinking instead of doing a recap here so I could include photos and take my time with it. By all accounts you could say it must have been a bad year. Marriage problems, health problems, money problems, the works. But instead it has been one of the best years for its simplicity and simple pleasures. We had to move into a cozy little duplex, smaller than we have ever lived in. At times we of course get on eachothers' nerves, but mostly we just enjoy hanging out together. The saving grace is a huge yard where the kids can burn off some energy.

In January, my first grandchild was born, Ella Maur. She is a joy and delight and brings a smile to my face and joy to my heart every time I see her. We were fortunate to live close enough to visit every few weeks but in August we got lucky and Lexy and her family moved to La Grande while her husband continues his schooling. We love having them close!
Zoey made it through her senior year! Yea! She was ready to graduate and move on with life. After graduation she went on a trip to Disneyland with her aunt Stephanie and her cousins Morgan, McKinna and Halee.  Soon after graduation she moved into an apartment with her friend Makayla. They both work at Burger King, were  Zoey is in training to be a supervisor at the ripe old age of 18! She bought herself a pickup and has been enjoying growing up for the most part.
 Our little Zoey

Zoey, and her two good friends from high school, Hannah and Kate.

Max has been all about duck hunting. He eats, breathes and talks about duck hunting. He was able to go with a friend and his on a snow goose hunt to South Dakota, and will probably get to take another hunting trip to Canada in the Spring. He worked at Burger King over the summer and bought himself most of his duck hunting equipment, including waders and a new shotgun. He does take time out for wrestling and hanging with his buds, but mostly he and his buds hang out in the marsh hunting ducks!
 Max in all is camo. You probably can't see him. :)
 The South Dakota hunt!
Probably the biggest thing to happen for Max this year, though, was getting his diver's license. Oh the freedom he has enjoyed. The only down side is he thinks he is the best driver on the road. NOT!

Riley started 6th grade at the middle school and has made some new friends while still keeping her familiar friends. She sings in the choir and is looking forward to playing volleyball. She has started babysitting and enjoys earning her own money. She really wanted a phone for Christmas so we got her one that you have to buy a card for every month, and she will be looking to babysit as much as she can to keep her phone active. She has been into making videos on various topics which she then posts on youtube, and has been the only one of my daughters to be a girly girl from the beginning with an interest in hair, makeup and clothes.

 Oh, and how could I forget, she is a huge Directioneer! If you don't know what that is, consider yourself blissfully unaware!
Here is a hint:

Eli is in 5th grade. He has a core group of friends he hangs out with getting into all kinds of mischief. His favorite interests are WWE, XBox and Airsoft gun wars. He also was really looking forward to football this fall but as you may have noticed from facebook, he broke his arm the end of the first game. He was so upset to miss the season, but he was a trooper about it. He was one happy boy the day he got his cast off! He really likes his teacher this year and likes his turn at being a crossing guard. He is the baby, but he is not only growing up but is almost as tall as me now. (Not that I am tall by any means...)

As for me, I've been enjoying a lot of home time. I needed a physical and mental break and have been really enjoying being out of the rat race. I have been able to spend more time on crafts, reading, and with the kids. I was sad to sell my vintage trailer, but then was later blessed with a free one, which I look forward to fixing up and taking on a camping trip next summer. This year I was also able to travel to Utah to my mission reunion and had the best time meeting up with old mission friends and my mission president and his wife.

I'm really looking forward to 2013, and hopefully to spending some time with many of you! Hope you all enjoy a safe and healthy new year with loved ones!

The Leavitt's

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What's in a Name

Well guess what. I got a big Airstream like trailer for a craft studio and glamper. From my research I think it's a 1961 Vagabond or Westwind.  I'll have my little trailer for Sister on the Fly outings, and my larger trailer for longer camping trips and as a craft studio and guest bedroom when needed. Here are some 'before' pictures.
 I had to ask myself why someone would paint a hideous brown over lovely aluminum. I plan to buff this paint off and then assess whether or not I'll paint it. There may be some strange patch jobs under there.

 This end will be the sleeping area. I've been tearing out the built ins that were left and not in good condition.
This end will be the sitting/living area. In between these two areas will be a dining and work space. Here are some photos of my ideas for the inside.
I have a table similar to this that I think I'll use as my work table.
And I want a dining area like this, a shabby round table with mismatched chairs united by white paint.
Need to find me a big frame for an inspiration board like this above the work table. I also have a baby crib spring I could hang on the wall to serve as the same thing.
I have to have me one of these shabulous chandeliers.
 This is what I'm thinking of for the wall treatment. I have old books and sheet music and other ephemera that would make cool wallpaper.
 This is an idea for curtains, maybe between the sleeping area and work space.
Love this idea for suitcases, and I have the stand already. Great storage idea.
 I want a vanity like this, (see it at the end of the bed?) for the trailer. Usable but not intrusive.
 Some pretties for the trailer.

Now that you have my vision, help me think of a name. If I choose the name you suggest you will win a lovely pretty designed by me. Now, get your name on!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A door able

Remember this old thing? Months ago after making and hanging the shutters I promised I would do something with this door? Well finally I did.
The screen in the top was held on with duct tape. The metal part of the door had various drips of different paints, scuffs, and such. It just was a boring eyesore that I wanted to fix up a bit and make it more welcoming. 
The door got the same paint makeover as the shutters. I am a lover of white, but the white front door was actually just a primed door and meant to be painted, and with a white door and white house, it just was nothing special.

I repaired the screen, doing away with the need for duct tape, and painted the door, making it stand out less and have a cleaner, neater look. You get the benefit of our fall decorations with this photo, and if you look closely, my reflection in the screen window taking this photo. Scroll back up to the top and then down to this photo and you have to say, it does look a bit better.  

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Shabulous Too!

In  May I sold my 1959 Aristocrat Vintage trailer. I didn't want to, but desperate times call for desperate measures and I had bills to pay. I resigned myself to it, watched her new owners haul her away, and moved on. I didn't know when or if I would be able to afford to buy another one, even if it was only $100, ( like my daughter Lexy's.)

But I still longed for a trailer and Sister adventures so every once in awhile I would browse Craigslist to see what was out there and what they were selling for. There was a fifth wheel trailer that was used as a chicken coop that was free to whoever brought the owner a case of beer and hauled the trailer away. I contemplated it, even arranged for towing it home, but in the end decided I really didn't want to deal with the whole fifth wheel thing, needing a hitch in the bed of a pickup, etc. I decided to just stop looking because even if I saw one I liked, I did not have two red cents to rub together to get it.

Fast  forward to Monday of this week. In church the previous day they announced that a lady that attends our church was moving to California to be nearer to her kids and she had lots of things for free, like a free yard sale. I really wanted to go look but had no gas in my car and no money to buy any, so I called up my friend Karen, hitched a ride with her and off we went Monday morning.

Several people had apparently gone out Sunday after church, but there was still plenty of good stuff left. I got a box full of old sheet music, a vintage ice chest, vintage fan, vintage metal Gott cooler, among other things. Naturally I saw a trailer parked under a fruit tree and just out of curiosity asked if they were selling it. No, they said, they were taking it to the recycling center and getting some money for the scrap metal. Well that made me sad, but even if they were willing to sell it, I had not one dollar to offer. But I went about looking through the free goodies to take my mind off of it.

A few minutes later my friend Karen said "Sandra, are you going to kill me? I got the trailer for free if you want it." Kill her? I could kiss her! Of course I wanted it! She is a 41 year old gal with some mileage on her but not beyond help. (The trailer that is, not my friend Karen!)

You can barely see the crown on the middle panel, but when I am finished with her, you'll be able to see it clearly.

It appears as though someone might have backed into the door, and there is crusty tree droppings all over her, but she'll clean up ok. On the inside everything is there, the cushions, the light covers, the table led and latches, the works.

Even the linoleum floor is intact and she had a title. So there is potential. I'll start with a good cleaning and go from there. Stay tuned for the makeover pictures and the final result, eventually. But she's mine!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Time to Myself?

OK, so Jeff has the week off work and it's his birthday week, so I thought the kids might enjoy spending some time with him, afterall, when the divorce is final they will be spending more time with him and for weeks at a time in the summer. I thought, ahhh, a few days all to myself to do whatever I want, work on projects, not have to hear fighting all day or worry about feeding kids.

So, the kids went to Jeffs on Sunday as usual, on Sunday evening Zoey came by for a couple of hours. On monday Riley came home crying because she missed me (please note she has been gone from me for longer than 24 hours before with no problems), then Zoey came by again for a few hours. On Tuesday Eli came home crying wanting to spend time with me before he and Riley went back to Jeffs that afternoon. First thing this morning, and by first thing let me say I mean first thing when I got out of bed at 9:00 am, Max came rolling in ready to cash his check, buy his phone, pay a couple of bills, (thank you very much Max!) and buy me lunch. (He can be a sweet boy).

So, (again with the 'so'), as you can see I really did not have a full day to myself. Even so, I managed to work on a couple of projects.

I've been working on these buttons. They aren't finished yet, I'm building collages a bit at a time to get it just right.

And I worked on some necklaces. You might notice some of the rusty pieces from my last post. The problem I have with most of the stuff I work on or make is that I end up wanting to keep it myself. I need to be more like Riley, as soon as she finishes a project she tires of it, tosses it out, and starts the new one. I wouldn't 'toss out' my projects, but I wish it was easier to let them go.

Alas, the children will all be home later today. And that, folks, was our major fail attempt at time to 'myself'.!