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There’s No Upside...

Michael Leavitt shares his innermost thoughts as they relate to his personal and family life. He can be heard to say often to his kids... “There’s no upside!”


NOTE: If you are interested in Michael’s business inspection related blog, then click on Bloggers in the left column and select Michael - Inspector.
Michael Leavitt came into mortality on August 3, 1961 in the small town of Brigham City, Utah. He was immediately deemed healthy and his Mom and Dad took him home to the nearby, but much smaller town of Bear River, Utah. 6 months later the family was on the move to Southern California with some time spent in Florida and then Southern California aga...in. After a crazy upbringing in the middle of gang banger central, Michael caught the vision and decided to serve two years as a proselyting missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints in Southern Brasil. “That was an incredible experience that allowed me to devout all my time, talent, and energies serving the Lord” said Michael about his missionary service. Returning home and quickly turning 27 Michael found the love of his life and married Shelly Webb from Claremont, California. Jessica came along within 9 months of their marriage, later followed by Adam, Haily, and Aaron. The time has flown by and Michael now finds Jessica married and making him a Grandpa 3 times over. More

Cheerful Charlie Departs Mortality With A Smile In A Whiteout!

Cheerful Charlie Departs Mortality With A Smile In A Whiteout!
Brrrrrrr! To say it was unexpectedly cold Saturday morning is an understatement. Leaving home in Orem with a light calm snowfall and entering the blizzard country of Northern Highland, Utah was an amazing experience. Just getting to the LDS chapel for my Great Uncle’s funeral by driving on the ice skating rolling hill roads was trechorous for some and was even white knuckling for those of us with 4-wheel-drives.   The family of my Great Uncle Charles had made the arrangements earlier in the week for the funeral and graveside service. They created a nice table at the entry that invited attendees to share their thoughts and feelings about Charles Del Mar Spurrier. The meeting was already underway by the time I made it to Highland. It see...
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Haily's Art - Springville Art Show

Haily's Art - Springville Art Show
What a joy it was to go to the Springville, Utah Art Museum to see Haily’s contribution to the annual High School Art Festival. This included entries from schools all over the state and just to be displayed is an honor. She was thrilled that the young men and young women from our LDS Ward came to see her picture. To say I was proud is an understatement. She works hard to develop her talent... Way-2-Go Haily!!!
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Murphy’s Other 15 Laws

Murphy’s Other 15 Laws
Fellow Porto Alegre, Brasil LDS Missionary (86-88), Mike Barry passed along the other laws that Murphy wrote, but kept to himself. Several of these I have learned to be true... The hard way! The others just made me giggle. Make it a great day! Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah - www.TheHomeInspector.com MURPHY'S OTHER FIFTEEN LAWS 1. Light travels faster than sound.This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak. 2. A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well. 3. He who laughs last thinks slowest. 4. A day without sunshine is like, well... um... night. 5. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine. 6. Those that live by the sword get shot by those who don't. 7. Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently u...
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Success in the burning ring of frie!

Success in the burning ring of frie!
With just 8 seconds to go, we witnessed the popcorn pop in the fire building contest. The record was reported to be about 2 minutes and 50 seconds. We may not have beat that record, but we did succeed at the task. Alex led the way and he started stacking the wood and placing the kindling. The technique was questionable as they took the first match when the log cabin was just about 2 inches tall when the limit was about 12 inches tall. this mean that if the fire took, then the flames would have to rise up at least a foot before it had any effect on the pie tin placed above. The match lit the tender and after about 10 seconds it went out.... There went the bonus award for getting it going with just one match. A second match produced the same ...
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Aaron Gets Voted Off The Island

Aaron Gets Voted Off The Island
In a true Survivor way, Drake cast the final vote and shoved Aaron to his fate as the rest of the Survivors thrust him off the island. Klondike 2013 was a thriving success. The 8-legged race was not so much. “C’mon Team, repeat after me, right, left, fall.... right, left fall.... right, left, fall! The winning time may have been 2:52, but we were impressed with Team/Troop 173 breaking the 13 minute barrier. Go Eagles!!!
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1588 Hits
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The Seussical Water Buffalo

The Seussical Water Buffalo
Coming at the end of February is the stage play Suessical at Canyon View Junior High here in Orem, Utah. We will get to see Aaron in the role as the Mayor of Whosville. Haily’s giraffe will be unveiled once again, and I was called upon to create the water buffalo head piece. So how do you make a water buffalo head piece? That’s what I thought when I received the phone call. I immediately thought of building off a bicycle helmet. So without any specific guidelines I went to the internet and found the image that I think people think of when they think water buffalo. The horns seem to be the key, but how to do it with a Seussical twist. Let’s start with the helmet and some coat hangars... Next came the Styrofoam cups and black electrical tape....
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Obernewtyn Has Consumed My Wife

Obernewtyn Has Consumed My Wife
Totally consuming! With an incredible smile on her face, Shelly was surrounded by the oracle spheres of power from another realm as I approached her in her bed. Little glowing globes of red and white were protecting her personal space. The pain which often overpowers her was being kept at bay. Is it a good book? It must be to have this effect. Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody, hmmm... Never heard of it. Adam must be the one to blame for introducing her to yet another book series. Wait a minute, with that kind of smile there is no blame to dole out. Instead, Adam gets all the credit. Thank you Son. So the book apparently gets high marks and the inside cover testimonial should read... “Totally Consuming!!! Shelly Leavitt” Michael Leavitt - Orem...
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Snowy Days Remembered

Snowy Days Remembered
A neighbor knocked and then handed me a photo from more than a decade back. In it was Haily and Aaron sitting on our back porch swing with the snow falling in the background. The memories came flooding back of a more innocent time when the first snowfall found us immediately out in the yard trying to capture falling white flakes in our mouths. I remember their smiles and their winter clothes like it was yesterday. This was obviously still fall as half the leaves are still hanging on their branches. The swing set was used daily and flips were plentiful on the trampoline. Haily was always the Tomboy being situated two years younger than Adam and two years older than Aaron. Most days she was as as happy and dirty faced as both of our boys. I t...
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Thanks for the caterpillar!

Thanks for the caterpillar!
It is always fun to open up my email and receive a message from our youngest grandchild Tommy. “Thanks for the ceterpillar!” Tommy shared. He is very short in his messages, but the attached pictures always speak a thousand words. Cute? Yep, he is adorable! Proud? Yep, he coordinates his outfits perfectly and he will never be accused of his Mommy dressing him funny! Sad? Yes, I wish I was closer and could give him a big hug and kisses. It was fun rocking him to sleep as he fought it every step of the way, during our short visit to Cape Cod early in December. Tommy would scream and scream and scream, and then he would just go silent like somebody turned off a light switch. So thanks again Tommy for keeping me up to date with the highlights in...
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New Years Sledding

New Years Sledding
The Leavitt family tradition of bringing in the new year continues with another successful late night sledding. Instead of midnight, we delayed it until 1 AM to accommodate Aaron and Haily’s big dance that ended just after midnight. Then we changed clothes and headed for the big sledding hill. And when I say big, it seemed much bigger to them when they were all under 10, but we had fun all the same while trying not to wake up the nearby neighbors.   Haily was the newest 17 year old to attack the sledding mountain.   Aaron caught incredible air   Adam just always has a blast doing whatever we are doing.   And yes, I was glad to survive the experience. HAPPY NEW YEAR!   How did you bring in the new year?
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Haily, the Tomboy - She draws and she also writes!

Haily, the Tomboy - She draws and she also writes!
From my daughter Haily’s blog...   Friday, December 28 not one of them   [This is a paper I wrote for English. She let me keep the format like this. (Young rocks.) Anywho, enjoy!] -=-=-=-=-=- There comes a time in every tomboy’s life At least once a day When she is forced to surrender all independence, All knowledge, All of her muscles. Because her kryptonite is something she loves even more:   Gentlemen.   You see, My childhood consisted of a Much different life than most girls. My childhood was the epitome of adventurous.   While most girls were inside With their perfect ringlets, And precisely painted nails. Playing House, And deciding what dress Barbie should wear.   I lived under the sun. With dirt wedged ...
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Into The Woods - The Poster

Into The Woods - The Poster
INTO THE WOODS - Can you draw faces? It is a talent that few possess, but my daughter Haily nails them every time. She gets the proportions right. She gets the eyes and noses perfectly. She captures the look that never fails to please. Saturday afternoon she did it again when Miss Pam, the drama teacher at Orem High School, asked Haily to create the poster that would hang in the large commons area announcing to the school the opening of the play later this week. It is incredible to think that she took black butcher paper and taped up several rows to create the large 10 foot canvas. That combined with a few paints, a few hours and voila... Success! I feel a bit bad (tongue firmly placed in my cheek) for the two girls cast in the role of Litt...
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CPSC Recall - Ceiling Light

CPSC Recall - Ceiling Light
CPSC RECALL NOTICE - I have prepared another CPSC recall page and video regarding a popular style light fixture. Due to the tripping of AFCI’s, Dolan Northwest is recalling 8,000 ceiling mounted light fixtures. These were supplied primarily to builders for new home installations and sold by lighting showrooms primarily to builders from 2008-2009. LINK TO ARTICLE AND VIDEO - http://www.thehomeinspector.com/Clients/CPSC/111512_Dolan_Light_Recall.html I hope that you find the information helpful! Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah
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The Lighted Corsage

The Lighted Corsage
I am sitting here breathing a sigh of relief as the finishing touches of Aaron's Beauty & The Beast Lumiere costume have just been completed. At the end of the play, Aaron becomes human again and he is dressed in black tuxedo tails with a custom gold sequined vest, custom gold waterfall ascot, and a pink flower corsage. It may seem like overkill, but I really wanted his corsage to feature 3 lit candles. It seemed only fitting that this corsage be lit like his enchanted Lumiere costume, right? Well, I thought so anyway, so I gave it some thought over the last couple of weeks trying to come up with a game plan on how to accomplish the dream. Yesterday I was shopping in All-A-Dollar and found three little candles that you would use to ligh...
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Count Our Blessings

Count Our Blessings
Thomas S. Monson shared in conference... Take an inventory and review your blessings, both large and small... Men are that they might have joy!... We can pray and our prayers will be answered.   President Monson went on to share that we should never ignore a prompting. How have I been doing in that regard? Have I been able to help those in need? Or have I been so self-absorbed that I am missing some of the promptings?... Definitely too self-absorbed! I think about the blessings within our household. We have great children that are making great decisions. I look at how excited Adam was to hear the changing of the age for missionary service announced yesterday. he did not immediately say that he was modifying his plans and leaving earlie...
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Lumiere - You Light Up Our Lives

Lumiere - You Light Up Our Lives
You can say that I am one proud Dad, or as Aaron calls me... Papa Smurf. I have put the finishing touches on his play costume for the upcoming Beauty & The Beast. As Lumiere it was only fitting that he light up like an overgrown Glow Worm, and glow he does! Talk about a lot of work... yet it was soooo very rewarding for the dozens of hours invested int the project. The play opening is about 5 weeks off, so having this costume done really takes a load off my shoulders. But the greatest part is watching Aaron’s eyes light up as he puts it on and becomes Lumiere. Mark your calendars for November 7-12, 2012 with 7PM performances each night plus a 1 PM matinee on Saturday. All of this takes place at Canyon View Junior High School in Orem, Ut...
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Michael Leavitt
In response to Facebook Likes and positive comments... This is the first time I have had a major costume done 5 weeks before openi... Read More
Tuesday, 02 October 2012 10:27
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PARENTS!!! Swimming Pool Safety Warning

PARENTS!!! Swimming Pool Safety Warning
Parents.... 137 Kids Drowned This Summer - Be alert when your children are anywhere near pools, lakes, water slides, and bathtubs!!! The Consumer Product Safety Commission recently issued a warning regarding pool safety due to the fact that 137 children drowned during the summer of 2012. See the warning at http://www.thehomeinspector.com/Clients/CPSC/91312_Pool_Drownings.html You should also like my latest YouTube video dealing with the issue while relating some real life experiences and information. So visit the above link and enjoy!
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The Falling Rain

The Falling Rain
Haily just informed me that the rain is falling outside and the thought of all the work that went into yesterday's “Chalk The Block” chalk art gently being washed away is a bit disturbing. I am so thankful for the pictures I was able to snap while the weather was still good. It just goes to show how important it is to take life by the horns and tail and get the most out of the wild ride.. Such is life!!! Rain drops keep falling on my head...
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Chalk The Block - Provo Riverwoods Art Festival

Chalk The Block - Provo Riverwoods Art Festival
On Facebook I posted... “What a great event “Chalk The Block” turned out to be. I dropped my Orem High School student daughter off in the morning to what I thought was going to be some kids coloring on the sidewalks, only to find that this was an incredible showcas e of talent by those wishing to donate their skills on behalf of care and a cure for autism. I have several hundred photos of the event, including every chalk art entry in both the mid-complete and finished stages hosted on Haily’s website at http://hailyscomet.com/Art_Chalk_2012.html . Thanks Riverwoods for hosting an outstanding event that turned into a Leavitt Family day of fun!!!” I woke up this beautiful Sunday morning and realized that there were a couple of the pieces of a...
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“Oh No” Twins Having Fun

“Oh No” Twins Having Fun
LINK TO VIDEO Jessica and Dave sent along a new video from Cape Cod. It is a blast to watch, and it is obvious that Rolf and Poppy are now old enough to really be a lot of fun. I think that is what makes their departure to East Coast living the toughest. It was also tough realizing that this morning would have been the perfect Fall morning to take them fishing... But then there is that 2,138 mile separation... Sighhhhh! I wonder how hard it must have been before the days of Skype and YouTube when the prior generations were separated by large distances. That would have been tough and I should quit my yearning, but it is still tough being a long distance Grandpa. Looking at Rolf and Poppy repeating the same fun activities over and over and ov...
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Mom’s 82nd Birthday

Mom’s 82nd Birthday
It was a great birthday with mom at the LDS Brigham City Temple. See the great photos... http://www.thehomeinspector.com/Family/LeavittTimes_2012_9-5.html
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Sugarland Concert

Sugarland Concert
What a wonderful, wet, and visual Saturday evening spent with the family seeing Sugarland in concert. When they say that the Usana Ampitheater is an outdoor rain or shine event, they aren't kidding. We drove to West Valley with ominous clouds looming in the west that turned to thunder and lightening on the horizon. As we stepped from the car it started to lightingly rain. Yes, Dad had given the warnings before leaving that we should plan for rain. Haily wasn't concerned, as getting there as she said repeatedly, "But Dad, I am wearing a cardigan!" What we needed was full foul weather gear for what was to come. Enterring the outdoor arena for our first time we hunkered down under three blankets that would soon be fully soaked.  Since it ...
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Sherri
Sounds like a fun & memorable night! Glad you finally got to see them in concert!
Sunday, 02 September 2012 19:14
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And my daughter dwelt in a yurt... Say what?!?!

And my daughter dwelt in a yurt... Say what?!?!
In the same fashion as Nephi of old reported that his Father dwelt in a tent (1 Neph1 2:15), I get the opportunity to tell all that ask that my daughter Jessica and her young family are now dwelling in a yurt. That’s right, a YURT! This is hopefully a temporary abode at a State Park near Cape Cod, Massachussettes. It will probably downscale to a tent and then finally upscale to a dwelling with solid walls once the end of summer holiday season ends and all of the tourists go back home to free up some longer term reasonable vacancies. But after the initial shock is over regarding the yurt, then the realization that her spirits are high and the trip is still in the great fun family trip stages. I am certain that if the yurt was the end all be ...
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Mary Poppins Dinner Rolls

Mary Poppins Dinner Rolls
What an incredible surprise to open our front door and find our nearby neighbor, Julian Bitter, standing there offering us the wonderful gift of a Ziplock bag full of dinner rolls. Wait, that greatly undersells the gift. The rolls were just baked and perfect in almost every way, hence their new name as the Mary Poppins Dinner Rolls. Just seeing them brought back a flood of memories as I served together with his wife Sherida as she faithfully created the desserts for our monthly Cub Scout meetings. Her cinnamon rolls were incredible, and her theme frosted cookies always amazed. Now seeing her big bag of fresh rolls immediately made my mouth water. “You do realize that I don’t want to tell anybody in my family about these,” I told Julian. My ...
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Recent Comments
Michael Leavitt
Leandra Wurdel - Bom seria ver você comer novamente uma grande "nega-maluca" como aquelas que eu fazia pra você e o Elder Jensen, ... Read More
Sunday, 26 August 2012 18:24
Michael Leavitt
Leandra, one of my greatest blessings of Brasilian missionary life was being exposed to “Nega-maluca.” I have not found anything t... Read More
Sunday, 26 August 2012 18:25
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Let Them Fly

Let Them Fly
It is interesting transitioning from being an active parent to becoming a passive Grandfather bystander. Both Shelly and I have been spending 23 years investing quality time in the development of our kids hoping to share with them and help them hone their skills to make the best decisions and choose the path that will lead to the least heartache and the most fulfillment and joy. With that being said, the difficult part is allowing our children their free agency and room to stretch their butterfly wings and fly. But let them fly we must, and fly we know they will. I have never really been scared as to whether or not our kids will choose good over evil. We continue to watch them choose good. I think the hard part is when they pass through the...
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They Made It!!!

They Made It!!!
6PM - AUGUST 24, 2012 - I was thrilled to receive the following email message from Jessica and Dave... “We are safe and happy!!! Love Dave Jess Rolf Popy and Tommy”   That is such a relief as Jessica’s clan headed off to the East Coast with no real clear cut plans. They are somewhere near Boston and we hope they have a place to safely sleep tonight. UPDATE: When Aaron ws shown this entry he looked at me and said, "I'm so jealous. I don't think I have every been to the beach. But where are the waves? Are they not very big on the East Coast?" It sounds to me as though there is a trip to Newport Beach in our future... The Crab Cooker, clam chowder, and lots of waves.    
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1484 Hits
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Dinner With Jose Artalejo - Summerfest 1978

Dinner With Jose Artalejo - Summerfest 1978
If any of you are interested in climbing inside my head and taking a walk through my memory from 1978, then you will enjoy a recent journal entry dealing with a Boston concert at Anaheim Stadium. All of this was triggered after having a friend I haven’t seen for over 30 years in our home to visit and eat my homemade carne asada tacos... http://www.thehomeinspector.com/Family/LeavittTimes_2012_8-22.html
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