Thursday, December 25, 2008


It was Photo Shoot day yesterday for the kids. Last week they decided to go to the second hand store in town to see what they could come up with as far as Christmas wear and I think they did very well. They grabbed a few props from the house and off they went to grandpa's red barn. The sweater that Clark has on is part of his regular Christmas attire actually. He wears this every year at the "ugly sweater party".

We hope you all had a Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Michelle!

Guess how Michelle celebrated her 18th birthday? Taking the ACT! It was not a pleasant morning for her and it kind of made her grumpy. Maybe the word "kind of" is too mild. She was downright grumpy! She takes the stats for the girl's basketball team so she was able to have some sort of fun after the test. At least she wasn't home right?Umm...don't even think about counting the candles. I only had 16. What can I say?

Look who came over just before midnight? Rawley, Tayt, and Scott. And look what they brought Michelle? I know it's not strawberry, but it's close. Sort of. These boys made this chocolate pyramid green peppermint frosted cake just for the birthday girl!

I think Michelle should re think this growing up thing. She wants to go away to college next year and I don't think that's a very nice thing to do.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

More Family Visiting!

Look who dropped in from Virginia. My brother David. He is on a business trip and drove from Calgary to see us last weekend.
It has been so great to have the Hatch side of the family visit us. I have been waiting over two years for this and finally it's happening. Guess who flys home in two days? Clark. Then guess who comes home on Monday? Laurel. And then who comes home on the following Wednesday? Brad! You know what that means right? Our whole family together in our very own home. It has been over three years!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

More Holiday Fun!

Randy and Brad have known eachother since they were 4 when we moved to Thousand Oaks in 1989 and they are now roomates at BYU. We had two crockpots of the Cafe Rio pork going.

Michelle really does like me. She came up behind me, put her arms around me AND wanted a picture taken. Can't get much better than that!!

Just look at Mark and all these girls! We were looking at old family videos on the laptop and having the best time. Thanks Laurel and Kelly for the entertaining video way back when at the cabin in Montana!

Lou Lou likes riding too! Dixie brought in 4 of her horses(she has about 25)so the kids could ride a bit. Lou-Lou had so much fun that she wants to learn how to ride too. I'm telling you, it's getting contagious.

These boys LOVED riding. The arena looked liked bumper cars with these guys riding all over the place. It seemed there were horses everywhere and they all wanted to try riding different horses. The favorite was Yuno though, the pretty black one.(dave,randy,brad,clint)

Boy were the cameras flashing. Too many pictures to post. Brad was given this hat while on his mission from a rancher in Nicaragua. (clint and brad)

Randy wants to own a buckle, wear a cowboy hat and buy cowboy boots! I'm not even kidding, he loves it all!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Home for the Holidays!

Look who rolled into town last week for Thanksgiving! My kids and their friends! Randy, Clint and Dave, along with Rachel, who is in summer theater with Laurel were here for a week. We have had a housefull the past couple of weeks, but there was room for everyone and they even took their turns cooking. Laurel made bowtie pasta and ceasar salad one night and the next day Brad and Randy make Cafe Rio Pork. Oh. My. Goodness. It was soooo good.
Cousins and friends. Look at these happy happy girls! I love love love my kitchen. This is what I was invisioning in my home when planning my kitchen. Buffet all laid out on my 8 ft. counter!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Yesterday was a fun day at the agridome(arena). Of course it was my riding day, but look who else was able to ride. My father had a great time and I know he was eating up every minute. My father was born and raised in Cheyenne Wyoming and has always loved horses so to be able to get ride a bit yesterday was a bit nostalgic for him.

Dixie brought in Wrangler for him to ride which is always a treat. The two of them just walked and chatted for quite awhile. I think Dixie enjoyed it as much as my father. He always has something interesting to say.

Pure joy!

Just a candid shot (thanks Gail for the pictures) while milling around.

Love it love it love it!

Love this one too!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

More Fun

These hats were gifts from the return missionaries....See the Texas Longhorn?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My House is Filling Up! YEA!!

Lou Lou and her family have made the move to Alberta. They sold their house in Saskatchewan and are moving to Lethbridge when their new house closes at the end of the month so in the meantime they are staying here.

The cousins. Kelly,Neal,Caleb,Michelle, and Seth.
My father and Gail have just returned from their mission so this is the first official picture of daddy and the two of us together.
It is so great to have my side of the family here visiting. In a week or so Brad and Laurel and some of their friends will be here for Thanksgiving and I can't wait!!! We'll miss you Clark!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Wranglers War Leo (his registered name)

So here he is. Wrangler. Dixie brought Wrangler for me to ride because Shasta was not very responsive to me. Hard to believe I know. Even with the spurs Shasta wasn't performing (doing what I asked her to do) so Dixie had to bring in "the best". A movie star. A celebrity. A World Class Junior Working Cow Horse. Yes sir-ee, I am riding a champion. When Dixie brought Wrangler into the Agridome people were so thrilled. It was interesting to see how they reacted when they actually saw this champion in person. I am lucky lucky to be able to ride him.

He has competed in 25 shows, had 22 championships, 2 reserves, and a tie for third. He not only won the World Champion in 1987, he won by 10 points! It sounds like I know what I'm talking about doesn't it? I'm just reading a paper with all the info. but he has won $35,927.00 in winnings which I do understand. You can win belt buckles, small amounts of money and even a saddle, but thousands? That I understand a lot.

Picture day at the Agridome.

This was after a riding session. And by the way it was the best riding day ever! Talk about spinning. On Wrangler it was very very cool. I also loped with more ease and I did a lead change. Very exciting!

Wrangler was getting ready for a yawn but we missed it. Yawns on a horse are very cool. Think Mr. Ed!
Some day I will inherit, borrow, get a hold of, the Hatch saddle my father made and used when they lived in Montana. It will be so great!

My own saddle, boots, and spurs, oh, and a Dickies "chore coat". Mark is dying over here in Alberta you guys. He never would have even remotely thought in a million trillion years that his wife would go to such lengths.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

It's coming!

Yesterday we went to Lethbridge (45 minutes drive) to pick up our underlayment for the carpet downstairs. We have been working on the trim which has taken awhile because we (Mark and Chris,lou's husband) have been making it from scratch so to speak. We are using 3/4 inch MDF and then using a bit to make our own personal edging. We love it, but it is messy and time consuming. We have all the trim painted, using a sprayer and so we are now ready for carpet. It will make such a difference and when the in floor heating comes on we will feel cozier.

While Mark was at the carpet place Neal and I went across the street to look at furniture because we still need living room, formal dining room and basement furniture for the great room.

I found it! The living room furniture! We love it!

I really thought I wanted leather and was willing to hold out until Mark agreed with me. But when I saw this, I knew this was it. The wood carving on all of the pieces have a tropical flare which is subtle to most, but not to us. It is comfortable and fits and looks perfect.

Our front door has been in for awhile and literally downstairs unstained for a year, no lie! It is mahogany with a deep brown/red stain. Alot like our front door in CA. We love all of the glass and light that comes through. It is not trimmed out yet, but soon.

So there you have it Clark, Brad, Laurel and Lou Lou. Home Sweet Home!!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

We All Have Our "things"...

Some love their surfboards. Some love their skis. Some love their cars. Some love their pets. Me? I love my new boots!!

Dixie and I have so much fun riding together. She works at the Carway border with 4 days on, 4 days off. And because we have a blast together on her days off we always go riding. Actually, it is just not riding, she teaches me horsemanship and it is pretty darn fun. Trotting and posting came pretty easily for me and I have loped a few more times and I am getting the hang of it. But I have also learned how to spin. It is when the horse is going in a tight circle and crossing their front legs as they turn. I have also learned how to use the reins more effectively and to use my legs as signals to the horse as well. It is all very exciting.

The reason why I love my new boots is because they can make spurs work the way they should. Before I bought my boots I was either wearing Dixie's boots or my tennis shoes and spurs with tennis shoes was not working for me. Some people can ride a horse with no spurs but I seem to have a hard time so the boots really were a necessity, really they were.

Mark is not so sure about these boots, but I am. I really really like them. Alot. He will be the first to tell you that me learning how to ride and buying cowboy boots was the LAST thing he thought would EVER happen. When in Rome do what the Romans do.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Dr. Doolittle, Sort Of

I know what you all are thinking. You think this is a horse post don't you? Well, there are other animals around here too. And this time Mark was having some of the fun.

Look at all these reins and halters. These belong to Dale and he has chickens and goats and cows and horses and dogs and cats and all that fun stuff. He and his wife Karen milk their goats and cows and gather eggs from their chickens and once in awhile we are lucky enough to be on the receiving end.

Sometimes it is hard to know what to do for such nice people that are always so willing to give. A couple of days ago Dale dropped by with milk and 2 dozen eggs on his way to Lethbridge to haul cattle to the auction. Mark asked Dale what we could do to repay him for the milk and eggs. Dale didn't say much so Mark offered to milk his cow. And who was excited? ME! So last night, after dark, on a cool and windy night we drove up the road to Dale's barn and Mark milked a cow!

Mark used to milk a cow every morning and evening for a lot of years while growing up. With 11 kids in the family and his dad being a school teacher, there were a lot of times that scrimping and saving was a must. Mark has not milked a lot of cows, but he has milked a cow a lot of times which means he is really good at milking. He sat down on that one legged stool, bent his head down against the back end of the cow (to feel any leg movement that might come his way)and went to town. It was like riding a bicycle. Notice the tin of bag balm in the corner of the stall. That stuff is great for ailments isn't it? The cows must appreciate too, after all, it was created for them wasn't it?

After milking you have to strain the milk to get "stuff" out of it. I forgot to look and see what was left behind. Darn.

Dale traded his 22 rifle with a scope for this milk separator. I think for a man to trade his gun for a gizmo like this is, there must have been a real need. This machine was pretty cool when it started doing it's job.

That's Dale pouring the fresh milk into the separator. And let me tell you, separate the milk it does.

Look at that. The cream is going into the jar on the left and the skim milk is going into a bucket on the floor. How cool is that? and then do you know what Dale did? He put a lid on that jar of fresh cream and handed it to me. See, sometimes you can never ever get ahead.

And there you have it. My milk for the week. I think I will use the cream to make real homemade ice cream. Hhmmm.... should I make chocolate or strawberry or raspberry or peach? I'm making chocolate. Hello!

One of the cows had a calf a week or so ago so to be nice and fair to everyone, some of the milk was saved for her. It was a blast feeding this baby calf her milk. Lou Lou and I used to have a few drop calves in high school that we had to feed every morning(before early morning Seminary) and night so this was fun for me. Dale was sure that the calf was going to pull on the bottle nipple and that I would drop the bottle. I don't think Dale knew who he was messing with. That calf was no match for an experienced drop calf feeder, no siree!!

You have to admit this looks pretty fun!

Next on my agenda? Milking a cow. Mark can't have all the fun!

Monday, September 29, 2008

The 9th Annual Leavitt Fair was a couple of weeks ago. They really went all out this year with a cool banner, and yes, that is me turning hot dogs.

They always have the candy jar counting contest which is the most popular table at the fair for the kids. Let me tell you, there are a lot of little candy pieces, believe me. I counted over half of those 20 some odd jars which made it impossible to even participate. Oh well. Do I really need that candy? I think not!

What is this you ask? These are candy corn on the cobs that the Achievement Girls made. I think it is quite clever myself. Those are Jelly Belly's I believe on top of three cupcakes.

Oh the ever popular lawn mower race. Next year Mark and Neal are going to enter.

What is he cooking that corn in? I asked the same question and do you know what he told me? An old water heater tank. Yah, go figure. Who would have ever thunk?

You are seeing that right. Dipping corn in a pitcher of melted butter. Another great idea!

Look at that pretty blue sky. It only lasted about an hour and boy did the wind kick up. In a matter of minutes the fun moved to the church cultural hall. Those cultural halls are sure handy aren't they?

There are always baked goods to sample and buy and vegetables to show off at the country fair. There is always a homemade quilt that is raffled off as well. Nope we didn't win it but the most deserving elderly couple in the ward did. Lucky ducks! Brother Leavitt (that would be our plumber's dad, yah, I know) just celebrated his 90th birthday so I think it was only fitting that he and his wife won it.

Surprised to see your self on my blog Kelsey? Congratualtions on baby#2!!!