Thursday, September 27, 2012


I shared Alex's arrival home from the airport back in June but I never did finish the experience. I guess today I will just give a short summary of Alex's summer at home before he left us and went to school. 

Alex gave a wonderful home coming talk and that evening we had an open house for him here at the house. I have no idea why I don't have any pictures of the open house. We had a ton of people come on by to see him. One of Chile's favorite meals is a souped up hot dog that they call "Completo's" or something like that. It is basically a hot dog with lots of mayonaise, avacado, tomatoes etc. Very good. That is what Lisa served at the open house. 

That weekend we took all of the family to a Padre's game. It was actually, "Mormon Night at the Padre's" so we sat with our ward and had a ton of fun. They had a tail gate before the game where we got to meet Alex Boye. I had never heard of him before but I guess he is a famous Mormon Singer. Because it was Mormon Night they had him sing the National Anthem. We had plenty of time so we decided to go and get something to eat at Hoodads. It was fun. Our family has grown and we took up a good deal of the available space. 

After everyone left and things had settled down Kira and Justin flew Alex up to Calgary so Justin could get a chance to see him. Alex was up there for a little over a week and had a great time. This year was the hundredth anniversary of the Calgary Stampede and Alex got to be a part of that. He also went on a scout camp with Justin in Waterton and the most memorable event from that was when they came face to face with a bear on the trail to Crypt Lake. After a bit of a stare down the bear decided to head off into the brush. Have you ever seen a troop of boys scouts? I'd be scared too. 

After Alex came home he worked the rest of the summer for me. If the mission did nothing else for that boy it taught him how to work. He is a very different employ than he was before his mission. 

A week or two after Alex returned from Canada Ben decided it was time to get his revenge. Right after Brandon and Ben got home from their missions Alex talked them into dressing up in super hero costumes and going to Sea World. Ben made Alex dress up in a Jesus costume and go to Six Flags. Frank dressed up as a carton of milk and Ben dressed up as a Mexican wrestler. I of course went as a Dad. They were all kicked out of the park and told to leave the costumes outside the park. Such poor sports at Six Flags. We did have a great day at the park. 

All too quickly the summer was over and Sarah's wedding was upon us. I already told that story in an earlier post. Two days after Sarah's wedding Alex had to head off to Utah. It was a sad day and none of us were ready for it. We went up later to take some stuff to him and help him get settled in but it was sad to send him off to college alone. I know he is a big boy but it still sucked. 

A Mormon missionary dedicating two years of his life to the Lord (and his fellowman) is equal to what the average religious person does over seventy years. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Ramping Down for St George

The next topic I would like to talk about is my training for the upcoming St George Marathon. As you may recall, Alan Bird has me hooked on the Ragnar Relay which I have thoroughly enjoyed. In this last race Alan scheduled me to run a seven mile leg which had me quite worried but in the end I managed to run it just fine. I think that seven mile run inspired me to go for the marathon. I've always wanted to run a marathon but I've just never gotten around to it. Now I was already running seven miles so I had a good head start. I convinced five of my kids to apply with me so we submitted our names and hoped for the best. I know these following pictures are not nearly as interesting to you as they are to me but I'm posting them anyway because they tell a fascinating story.  

Just one week after the Ragnar and after I had already put my name in for the St George I was out for a six mile run in the Canyon. I love running in the Canyon. I just got to the bridge (my favorite spot in the Canyon) when I fell and broke my toe. You can see my ten mile pace up to mile three and my twenty minute pace on the way home. It was very painful.

It was June 9 before I could run again. I was worried the entire time that I would fall behind in my training schedule for the marathon. I am not as young as I used to be and I knew it would be hard for me to play catch up but June 9 fell right on my schedule. That was the week I was supposed to start with a three mile Saturday run and that is what I did. My training had now officially begun. 

For the first several weeks the Saturday runs increased by one mile each week. I was careful not to plan any routes into the canyon. I didn't want to take any chances about getting hurt again. I had actually fallen several times in the canyon and I really wanted to run this race. What a bummer it would be if I did all this  training and then couldn't run. It would kill me. 

I'm up to five miles now and I'm having to get a bit creative to find new runs. I really hate just running out and then back the same way. I like to see new territory. It is one of the things I love about running. I get to see mother nature up close. The cool thing about this summer was that with Alex's homecoming and Sarahs wedding I got to run with at least some of my kids just about every week. 

Sarah was with me on this run. You can see that we stopped in at Desiree's house on the way home. 

I didn't get charts from all of my runs but you may notice that this run is in Utah. Alycia, Sam, Sarah and I dropped water bottles off at mile six, left one car at the end and then drove up to some park in Provo Canyon. What a beautiful run that was. Perhaps my favorite. You may also notice the time we started. 6:16AM. A necessity in Utah. We had to beat the heat. I might also point out that ten miles was by far my personal best. In fact every Saturday from now on would be a new record for me. I'd never run this far in one stint ever in my entire life. It is a bit scary but very satisfying.

I had always imagined how fun it would be run along the beach enjoying the cool ocean breeze. NOT!!! It is nine miles to the beach at which point I am already completely exhausted and then to run in the sand made me think I was running in mud. Even running on the hard wet sand about killed my legs. It was definitely fun to run into the water at the end but never again was I going to run in the sand. Uggh...

This is the way to run along the beach, on a side walk. What a beautiful run. I think I had Ben with me on this run. Can you believe I am now up to fourteen miles. It is like I'm in a dream, I can't believe that it is actually me doing this. It kind of feels like a miracle. In fact, technically speaking, this was my first half marathon. 

This was the day after Sarah's wedding and it was one of my more fun runs because Ben, Justin and Alycia ran with me. Of course Justin and Ben ran ahead and Alycia and I came in a while later but it was a very fun morning. Unfortunately we didn't get left quite as early as we'd planned and poor Alycia got fried. Probably one of her worst sunburns. It was rather hot and therefor one of my slower runs but still fun. The water sure felt good afterwards.

 For some reason the schedule I was following had me run 16 miles three weeks in a row. I loved the run so much that I decided to do it again. I ran a bit faster this week.

 Today was the ward picnic so I decided to join them at Torrey Pines beach. I drove ahead and stashed water along the way then headed out. I got there in time to see everyone and then called Lisa to come and pick me up. Notice we're up to eighteen miles now.
 This was the big one that I had been dreading all along. Ben was down and even though he didn't really want to run Mission Bay again he was convinced because they have bathrooms and water fountains all along the path. Notice our 5:30 start time. It was 90° by the time we finished the run. Pat actually met up with Ben for the last four miles and even after running sixteen miles Ben about ran him into the ground. I came in only a few minutes after Ben which really confused me until I learned he had stopped for a potty break along the way. Notice my rather impressive time for a twenty mile run. I'm no longer scared of this marathon. I'm thinking I can do this. I'm not fast but hey, I just ran twenty miles. I have now run six half marathons. One a week. Not bad eh?
OK, I know this isn't too impressive after my twenty miles but I just wanted to include it to show how much faster I am than I was before. Since today was only five miles (who could imagine that I would ever say ONLY five miles?) I decided to see how fast I could go. I am rather proud of myself (is it wrong to be proud of oneself?) that I can run five miles at a nine minute pace.

So we are now ramping down so there are no more big runs. This Saturday is only nine miles and next Saturday is only five. I'm getting excited. Wish me luck.

One of the reasons dehydration is so bad in our society is because we often mask the pain with pain killers. The head aches and other effects of dehydration would normally drive us to drink more but now we just pop a Tylenol.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sarah Marries Sam

OK, I feel bad but all I can say is that this has been one wild summer. I appears that I have recorded none of my life since July and I'm not sure how to catch up so today I'm just going to talk about the highligh of the summer and that is Sarah's wedding. It was a wonderful day. I think I will just post a ton of pictures and talk briefly about each one.

 This is the happy couple.

And here are all of the Leavitts. Every one of our kids, their spouses and the grandkids were able to come. Even Lisa's parents were able to make it out. It was a whirlwind weekend but what a fun time. 

 Do they look happy to you?
Lisa and I with the newly weds.

Mother and Daughter

Father and Daughter

The six kids

 Kira, Sarah and Alycia
 Ben, Alex, Sarah and Brandon

Fred, Lisa, Sarah, Sam, Mary and Curt

Both Families

My Bride and I

 The Boys

The Girls 

I love this picture at the organ pavilion

The jewels on Sarah's dress just sparkled in the bright sunlight

Cool shot of the rings don't you think?

Lisa and her girls rings.

That's a pretty unique cake stand eh?
 Do you like the doilies hanging in the background?
 Kira toasting the bride
 Ben doesn't seem too interested
That is me thanking everyone for coming.
I nearly lost it dancing with my little girl.

We always have dances at our weddings and we always have a LOT of fun.
I'm not exactly sure what Ben and Trevor are doing here.
The wedding was at the Mortensens and they have a beautiful yard.
 Believe it or not we bought these sparklers for Alycia's wedding but the Navy base where we had the reception wouldn't let us use them. The Mortensens were much nicer.