Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Updater blog

This blog is for everyone who uses the automatic updater on their blog list. I have some friends who do this that have a private blog and find it quite convenient to know when they have posted. So go ahead and add this to your blog lists and I will post on here whenever I have updated the blog.

Ugly Sweater Christmas Party

On the 17th we threw an Ugly Sweater Christmas Party and invited all the young couples in our ward. There was a great turn out and we all had SO much fun!! I love our new ward!

Here is the spread of all the food that was delicious! It was kinda funny because being everyone was wearing sweaters we all got hot and had the doors open the whole night. Only in AZ huh?

Here we are with our white elephant gifts and our ugly sweaters. Surprisingly Mason's wasn't the ugliest this year!! And doesn't he look thrilled with his window wiper?? Hey that's better than some of the other gifts that went around!

He is everyone except for 3 people. From the left to the right:
Brittany Nelson and Brooklee, Darec and Holly Russell (missing), Spencer and Melissa Pratt, Ryan and Bri Reid, Elliot and Molly Marks, Nate and Blanca Dettmar, Dave and Melissa Cresop, and us! Kyle and Stacey are also missing from the picture.

But here they are! (And no he did not wet his pants. I guess he spilled ranch on his pants... haha!)

After the white elephant exchange we played backwards charades. We played this at a party last year and had SO much fun! So we made up our own version and played. It's played just like charades except instead of only one person acting something out and a group guessing, a group acts it out and only one person guesses. It's HILARIOUS to watch!! It was girls against boys. Here we are doing synchronized swimming. I think the boys won but we came in a close 2nd!!

Whenever someone would say one part of the word we would all stop and point and she would be like... uh... what? It was pretty funny.

Here is the winner of the ugly sweater contest. Dave Cresop! And believe it or not, this rooster pitcher was the hot item of the white elephant exchange! PS: He wore those blue polyester pants to church the following Sunday. It was amazing.

Just lovely!

I'm so happy to be in a ward where people like to have fun!! And why is this blue?? I don't know. Good times!

Friday, December 24, 2010


I stole this post from Kristina. I didn't have my camera at the little party she threw, so she was going to email me the pictures. Well being she blogged about it already, I decided that I mine as well just steal that too. Thanks Kristina. As always we had so much fun because of your party throwing talent and darling house! Her post starts below:

This afternoon, I had the teachers that I taught with last year over for a little Christmas get together. We've all moved on in different ways and no longer teach together. Kim, Allison, and Lindsey have all had babies and are stay-at-home moms, I got married, and Peggy and Marianne moved to new schools. Allison was visiting from Arizona (where she moved to at the end of the last school year) so we used it as an excuse to meet up. Everyone brought food and treats. It was so good to see everyone!

The new, EXTRA LONG table!

Marianne, Lindsey and Allison.

Jacquie (who I am fortunate to still teach with) and Allison's baby, the handsome Mr. "B".

Our bedroom doubled as the baby nap room. Mr. "B" is on the floor and Miss "M" is on the bed.

Three babies require a lot of junk!

Allison, Peggy, Marianne and Kim.

All of us just hanging around, visiting, and cuddling with the babies.

Lindsey and Mr. "P", Allison and Mr. "B", and Kim with "Miss M".

The whole gang
Top: Peggy with Mr. "B", Jacquie with Miss "M", me, Lindsey with Mr. "P"
Bottom: Allison, Marianne, and Kim
It's me again: I LOVE these ladies and miss them SO much!!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The True Meaning...

At our ward party on the 11th we got asked to play Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus in the live Nativity they put on. I felt as though it were an honor to be asked to be the sacred couple who raised my Savior.

'Baby Jesus' was so well behaved. As someone read the nativity story aloud the ward acted it out. Everyone sang songs together as it. It was a very nice program.

This Christmas season has been such a different year for me. Due to the fact that I now have a baby of my own, it has caused me to constantly reflect on how it must have been so long ago for Mary and the Christ child. When I was going through my hard labor I often gathered strength from Mary and thinking how it must have been for her in the circumstances she was in.

But the thing that touches my heart the most is the way Mary must have felt toward her sweet child. I love my baby so much and can't even begin to imagine how I would feel if I knew that he were going to be the Savior of the world - my Savior. What an incredible honor. But then I also think of that sweet innocent baby, flailing his arms about, cooing, wanting to be held just as any other baby. It's such a tender image and one that makes me want to go in the other room and rock my baby. Our Savior was once just like us. Tender and mild. Holy and pure. And that sweet mother Mary got to hold her Savior in her arms and rock him. She got to kiss the side of his head and smell that sweet baby smell.

My mom told me about this picture and I just love it. Boone does this all the time. I love it when he will just lay there looking over my shoulder so peaceful and secure. I just don't think that I have ever completely understood how precious this moment must have been so long ago until now. I'm so thankful for that beautiful, silent night. I'm so thankful that God gave his son to the world to save us from all our sins. How heart wrenching it must have been for him to watch as his son was mocked and hated by so many. May we all remember what the true meaning of this season is and be so ever thankful for the beautiful gift of eternal life that we have been provided with.

I am so thankful for the gift of motherhood. It's a joy I never could have even imagined and a whole new love that my life could not be complete without now.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Nutcracker 20th Anniversary

My dad was the high school drama teacher for 30+ years. That being said, when I was 7 years old he started doing the Nutcracker Ballet and did it every single year until about 2 years ago when he left the high school. I was in the show every single year until I was a senior in high school. As you can imagine our Christmas season ALWAYS included many rehersals and costumes and makeup. I have been basically every single part in the show except for Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy. I LOVED it and my first Christmas without it really felt like something was missing.

Well this year the college asked him if he would consider producing the show again in their theater. So of course when I found out about it AND being I live here in Arizona now, I had to get in on the excitement.

First I had told him that I wanted to play the Mother Gigone role that I had played my senior year and i was going to until I had Boone and realized that i had no time to go down there and practice. So I compromised that I would just take the pictures for the show and come and see it Friday night.

Well secretly the director got in touch with Kyle (my little brother) and I and asked us if we wanted to surprise my dad closing night by doing the jester number without him knowing. So we got together one Saturday and figured out what we were going to do. Friday night at the show we sat with my dad in the back with our babies. At intermission I claimed that I needed to go out to the car and get some more diapers, I don't know what Kyle's excuse was, but that's when we ran backstage and put on our costumes and makeup. I guess he never noticed we were gone.

My mom was sitting by my dad when the jester music started and my dad was confused. She said that he saw us come out on stage and just watched for a couple of seconds and then started saying over and over, "THAT'S OUR CHILDREN! THAT'S OUR CHILDREN!!" He later told me that he was so happy that we were in the 20th anniversary show. He had been feeling sad that we were not in it being it was such a big deal. It completely sold out Friday night (that's never happened in any Nutcracker history)!

We just did a silly little magic act with the drossomeyer. Funny story about Kyle's hat. You may be wondering why you can see green and orange underneath... well there was only 1 black and white jester hat so I took one of the orange and green ones that went with a different costume and glued one of Mason's mismatched black socks on it and a piece of pillowcase. I couldn't ruin it because it went with another costume. But from stage... no one could tell the difference (hopefully)!

Then my dad asked me if I would take the pictures for the show. Here are some of my favorites. There were actually 298 for parents to choose from. I think after I had finished all the orders I sold 411! It was fun to take these action shots!

Sugar Plum Fairy

The Waltz of the Flowers

Sugar Plum Fairy again

Clara and Nutcracker Prince

Arabian Dancer

Clara at the Christmas Party

Clara and Fritz and the Drossomeyer at the Christmas Party


The toy dolls at the Christmas Party

The Russian Dancers

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Coach Lefler (Nov. catch up)

Mason coached the flag football team this year for his school. I'm going to brag a little bit here about my husband. He has been SO extremely busy ever since he started school. He has been getting his masters, coaching, and teaching all at the same time. I swear I don't see him until about 7 every night and then he has to do homework for ASU after that. It's been hard for him and for me... ANYWAY...

Being he is in his first year in this master's program at ASU they encourage all their students NOT to coach or participate in any other activity at the school their first year teaching because it's just too hard and there isn't enough time. Well at the beginning of the year when the faculty was all meeting and discussing sports no one wanted to do it. So the football team wasn't going to exist unless Mason coached it. He has such a heart of gold that he is sacrificing his sleep to coach this team instead of using that MUCH NEEDED time to do his homework. He kept telling me when I protested, "These kids need something in their lives. If they don't have football it's like encouraging them to go home and do drugs and get into trouble." And it's so true. This inner city school is SO EXTREMELY different from the happy little elementary that I taught at in Utah.

So he started coaching and I guess the team had never won a game in about 5 years or so. Well he took them all the way to the championship game!! I'm so proud of him and the boys. I'll tell you what when I would go to these games these sweet boys who thought they were so cool just LOVED Mason. I know that for some of them he is the only positive male role model they have in their lives.

One of my favorite things to watch was Mason walking up and down the sidelines. I didn't get a good picture of it but where ever he would go all the whole rest of the team would follow like a little pack of ducks behind him. And he was totally clueless when they would bump into him. It was pretty cute.

(Arizona has beautiful sunsets)
And although they didn't win, it was still a huge victory for that school. I went to one of their home games and I swear nobody went home after school. The whole student body was there. Now that the season is over they just had basketball tryouts (yes I will sacrifice my time with my husband for another 8 weeks or so - but as he says, the kids need it) and there were about 50 kids at the tryouts. He is only allowed to have 14 on his team. Of course that just breaks his heart to have to cut some of those kids. I guess the night that he was making the list the kids were waiting by his car after school. Even though it's been such a hard year, I'm so glad he is there for them.

My little sports fan.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Darci's Photo Shoot (Nov. Catch Up)

Alright so now that I've finally gotten around to making my blog private I have a lot of catching up to do because I just keep getting more and more behind! Ah!

Darci was born Nov. 16 and her parents so graciously let me take her newborn pictures. She was born on a Tuesday and I took these on Saturday. She was the PERFECT model - so well behaved and preciously sleepy. I had so much fun. I'm getting pretty confident behind the camera!! I'm so pleased with how these turned out!

I know there are a ton, but I had too many favorites to just pick a few. Babies are so precious. If every baby were are well behaved as Darci, I could TOTALLY do this for a living!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

This brought me joy...

Just in case you needed some entertainment in your night...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Twiddling my thumbs...Traditions!

I have so much to blog about but have been SO busy ever since Thanksgiving. I keep meaning to make my blog private too, but haven't found the time for that either.

But I do find the time to look at all your blogs and comment on them -strange I know. Next week I should be able to find more time. But until then I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season. It's going to be over before we know it!

But for now I think I will blog about something that doesn't need to be blogged about. Christmas traditions!!! One of my other friends made a list on her blog so I thought that would be fun to do. Now any of you who know me or my family know that the Leybas' are ALL about traditions. Poor Mason was thrown into all of it that first year. But some are old traditions and some are new. Either way, here are some of mine:

Decorating the Day After Thanksgiving: I know lots of people do this, but when I was little my dad and I would always put up the Christmas lights outside. Then that night we would have the big lighting of them. Those are some of my favorite memories with him. Well I have carried on that tradition, but now I do the whole house too. So fun - plus that way you get to enjoy the decorations longer!

12 Days of Christmas: When we were younger my family would always pick a family that we knew who was struggling financially or emotionally that season and doorbell ditch them the 12 nights leading up to Christmas. For each night whatever number it was we would leave something with that amount. For example night 1- 1 cheeseball, night 2 - 2 candles, night 3 - 3 snowmen... etc. Then we would always leave a card from the 'Elves.' We never told the families who we were. Some of the years got pretty intense as the families would try and catch us. We even involved walkie-talkies sometimes. This made for great fun as well!!

Christmas Eve Tamales: Every Christmas Eve morning we would wake up to the smell of tamale meat cooking on the stove. I'm not sure why, but my dad always had us make tamales (I don't know if his father did that? I'll have to ask) that morning and then we would eat them as part of our Christmas dinner Christmas night. We have NEVER had a ham for Christmas dinner. Not that I'm complaining. I love my hispanic side.

Looking at Christmas Lights on Christmas Eve: Every Christmas Eve night all 4 Leybas children would pile into the Leybas mobile, turn on the Christmas music, and tour Casa Grande looking at the lights. Again, another cherished memory.

Pile on the Bed Christmas Morning: This tradition still continues whenever we have Christmas at my parents house. All the children have to meet on my parents bed before they are allowed to go downstairs and look at the presents. I guess when we were little my parents didn't want us ravaging the presents too quickly so we always had to meet in their room and listen to the Christmas story before opening gifts. Nowadays that makes for a lot of people on that bed!

Making Caramel Apples: Mason and I started this one 3 years ago. We crank up the Christmas music and make these delicious treats to hand out to loved ones.

Books Under the Tree: This one I have not done yet, but as soon as Boone is old enough - probably next year, I want to wrap up all my Christmas books and put them under the tree. Each night before he goes to bed, he can choose one book to open and have us read to him. I'm so excited to do this next year!

Christmas Card Picture: This is another Leybas tradition that I will continue. My family always took goofy Christmas card pictures to send out to loved ones. I still am drawn toward the goofy poses. I start thinking about what pose we are going to do in the summer sometimes!

Nativity: Every year Mason's family acts out the Christmas story. They read the story from the scriptures while the children and adults dress up and act it out. They sing songs and everything. It's really quite a nice night. This year Boone gets to be baby Jesus. I want to continue this tradition even when we don't go up to Utah for Christmas.

Pajamas Christmas Eve Night: I haven't done this but when my kids get older I will let them open some new pajamas to wear to bed that night. I actually kinda want to do that this year! Who doesn't love new pajamas??

Gingerbread Houses: Mason's family always has a gingerbread building contest. Now these aren't just normal gingerbread houses... they are gingerbread masterpieces... Let's see... the first year we made a gingerbread boathouse, then there was the gingerbread lighthouse, last year we made the gingerbread baseball stadium. His whole family gets together and each family makes one and his parents vote on their favorite. So fun!

Ok that's all for now. I know there are more... I just love traditions. I know that there will be many more created with my own little family. For now we are merging two different families and keeping some while discarding others. But thanks for taking the time to read.

What are some of your traditions?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Going Private

Yes it's true. We've decided to make our blog private. Leave your address below if you would still like to be a part of our little lives.