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.