Monday, December 21, 2009

Beauty and the Beast

My good friend Amy Jo was performing as Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast. Brent and I decided to take Malia for an early birthday present. The show was amazing! The set was elaborate, the singing beautiful...we all loved it. Here is a picture with Gaston after the show:
The family with Amy Jo, she was amazing!

Brent insisted on getting a picture with the feather duster know the very demure, flirty one. I'm thinking that ms. feather duster lady is trying hard to force a smile here. I think she was ready to go home.

Belle and the Beast. It was a great day. Thanks mom for staying with the rest of the kiddo's.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Out of the mouth of babes

Today in my 5yr old sunday school class, a little boy said to me, "you have big lips, they look weird." I tried to explain to him in 5 year old language, that some ladies pay a lot of money to make their lips bigger. That big lips are beautiful." His reply...."they still look weird." 10 minutes later he told me my hair looked like snakes. Gotta love 5 year olds!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Nightmare before Christmas

You would think that I would have learned my lesson by now. I mean, I have been alive for 30+ years. You would think that I would learn to NOT commit myself to something, until I know exactly what i'm committing too. Our little ward Christmas play has turned into the Nightmare before Christmas. I thought I was committing to a "Small" ward play..I would make a five minute appearance, say my lines and be done. Little did I know that this play would last for an hour, consist of 200+ lines (for me), include costumes and props and involve hours and hours of rehearsal. The real problem is we are NOT READY! Half of the people don't know their lines , we don't have costumes and i've yet to see any props. The show is in exactly a week from today. Yikes. Our sweet director has really tried so hard, I don't feel like she's getting the support she needs. But one things for sure, For those of you in the area, it should at least, uh shall we say...entertaining. I wouldn't mind so much if we just had the one performance for the ward Christmas party. But we are having two performances, the first one open to the public. I hope the public doesn't find out. This is the last time I volunteer for something without knowing
exactly what i'm getting myself into. I can't wait until this is over, so I can focus on other things. Wish us luck, we are going to need it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

3 birthdays and Christmas

Christmas and 3 birthdays within 4 days of each other? I can't decide if this is a blessing or a curse. On the down side, it's very overwhelming financially, you get lots of presents and then nothing for a whole year, all of your friends are out of town for your party. You get "combined" Christmas and Birthday presents. Your birthday presents are all wrapped in Christmas paper,no pool parties, you are so sick of treats, that a birthday cake doesn't sound so appealing. On the up side, you get lots of presents, there is usually family around to celebrate with you, there is a lot of chocolate left over from santa to sneak from your kids' stockings, I get to watch those sappy Christmas movies that always make me cry, no school...and it IS the best time of the year...right? So what do you think, a blessing or a curse??

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tougher than nails

Malia had a minor surgery on Monday. She went to the periodontist for a
soft tissue graft. Basically the gum tissue below her two bottom front teeth was very thin, so they sliced off a piece of her gum on the upper part of her mouth (sounds gruesome, but that's pretty much how it happened) and grafted it on top of the thin tissue below her bottom teeth. The whole surgery took about an hour and she was sooo scared. I kept telling her to just keep her eyes closed and think about fun things. Afterwards she told me that she watched the whole thing. I have a friend who had this procedure done and she said it was very painful, so I was expecting the worst. The doctors said to keep her drugged for the next few days. But she woke up the following morning and said it didn't hurt very badly. She hasn't taken any medication since. She must have a high tolerance for pain. She was such a trooper and never complained once. She was back at school today and is doing great.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween happenings

Every year the kids' school has one fundraiser. It's a jog-a-thon and if they raise a certain amount of money they get to go to an "after dark party." The kids have gone every year until this one. We knew they probably wouldn't be raising enough to go and they were pretty bummed. So we told them we would take them bowling and have our own after dark party. We found a great pizza place called "Christo's" in Salem that makes fabulous pizza, the real stuff! We ate there and then headed to the bowling alley. The kids loved bowling and I have to admit that I came in third behind my 5 year old. (But he used the bumpers way more than I did!) Still embarrassing.

I'm realizing this morning what a lame parent I am, as I sat down to post some pictures from Halloween and realized that we have NO pictures of Cole in his ninja costume and in Malia's pictures she's not wearing her snow queen crown and cape that I spent half a day handsewing Sparkly ice crystals too. The crown makes the costume! I'm going to make them put their costumes on today for a "pretend it's still Halloween photoshoot." We had a great Halloween, I was so glad it was on Saturday this year. We invited a bunch of families over for a wild dinner and wild it was...about 50 people all together. (most of them kids)Luckily it wasn't raining so we could send some kids outside. We had plenty of fun food and had a great time hanging out. My friend Ann made these caramel dipped marshmallows that were AMAZING. I've added the recipe to Luckily I took a spinning class in the morning because I had my share of these little treats! After we ate half the people left for the church trunk or treat, while the rest of us went trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. We feel so blessed to have such great friends here...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

October update

So i've been feeling a little "blah" about the blog lately. Haven't felt like writing much because sometimes I feel like i'm just writing to myself. But then I reminded myself that this blog also serves as a sort of family journal, so it's time to get the ball rolling again. October has been pretty busy. I can't believe how fast it's flown by. The kids are anxious for Halloween. (pics to follow) and we are planning a big Halloween dinner for some friends.
I've also been busy getting ready for our upcoming craft fair the first weekend in December. Last year I did a lot of "last minute" preparations and i'm trying to avoid that this year.
Some other news is that Brent and I managed to get ourselves the leads in the church Christmas play. Scary! (for everyone else) Malia really wanted to read for a part, so we went down to the church and I read with her. A week later the director lady called me and pleaded with me to have a role in the play. Not because I was great, but because it turns out that no other female adults tried out. I've been regretting my decision a little when Malia came to me and said "look Mom, you have 231 lines, the next biggest part only has 100) Yikes...this brain of mine is not quite as sharp as it used to be, and memorizing 231 lines could be a challenge. Brent reluctantly took the male lead part when he realized that I would have to kiss another guy on the cheek. Can't have that in a church play. :) (maybe that's not the real reason...but kind of close) Anyway, i've been a little worried about the whole thing.
Jacob had some exciting news last week. His school was holding their annual jog-a-thon fundraiser and they have a big assembly where they draw names for prizes. The whole school is entered. Jacob won the grand prize. A 16-in-1 game table. Foosball, pool, darts, etc. The kids were so excited, it was like Christmas around here.
Well, i'm off to the kids' school...Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Diaper free

Well it's official after 8 1/2 years, 102 months, 3102 days (please don't check my math) we are DONE with diapers! Claire is officially potty trained. I think that's cause for a celebration!

Friday, October 2, 2009

AGW-(all girls weekend)

This past weekend was fabulous. I flew to Spokane to spend the weekend with my sis-in-laws and mother-in-law. It was a perfect weekend from start to finish. Friday we went to a consignment sale at the fairgrounds where I found some good deals on clothes for the kids. After that we headed home (MIL's). My MIL (Debbie) had invited one of her fabulous cook friends over to teach us how to make homemade pasta, foccacia bread and molten lava cake. I think this was one of my favorite things that we did. It was fun to just be together and eat yummy food.
(See our new food blog That evening we went shopping, I found a 5x8 rug for a great price and decided to try and haul it home on the plane. I have to give a shout out to southwest for being the best airline around and for letting me check in the rug even though it was over sized. I *heart* southwest! I did get plenty of weird looks carrying that rug in and out of the airport.
Friday night we went to a great little restaurant and ate good food. That night we sat around the kitchen table and made crafts. I'm trying to look sad in the restaurant pic because I was the only one with no food, but I did get a free dessert because of it!

The next morning we slept in, went for a walk and then headed to the spa. We had a foot massage, back massage and a mud hair treatment. That evening we watched the RS women's broadcast. (Where I was happy to learn that they changed the name of the enrichment meetings to RS meetings...pretty easy to remember. :) Sunday we tried our hand at sewing some bag for a humanitarian project. Unfortunately with me behind one of the sewing machines, our goal of 20 was reduced to 10...but i'm sure those ten kids will be happy! (As long as they don't get one of the two bags I sewed)
It was a great weekend, with great friends and fun. I often wondered this weekend why we hadn't done this before? It was hard to come back to a week of babysitting. But I am happy to say that I only have 4 more hours to go! Thanks girls for a great weekend!

The gift that Debbie had waiting for each of us in our room.

I'm not sure what we were doing in the photo below, I just thought it was funny.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Jacob turns 7!

Jacob turned 7 on Friday. We started off the day with his requested breakfast of pancakes with a face. Cole made fun of my first pancake for Jacob,saying that he had to eat a "girl" pancake. Oh the horror! I shortened the hair the next time.
Then it was off to school. Jacob's class celebrates all September birthdays on the last friday of the month, so I went in during lunch (lugging a baby carseat and all) and brought him a birthday cupcake. Jacob suddenly became the most popular boy in his class and everyone wanted to sit by him and his special guests. After school we had a small party with 4 of his friends. I had some games ready to go, but they really just wanted to play. They ran around the house and had a great time. Jacob wanted a lego cake. I was going to make one that looked like a lego, but he kept saying "mom, do whatever you want." So I took the easy route. And honestly this cake could be submitted to that website for the worst cakes ever made. It was supposed to be a chocolate mousse layer cake and ended up as a chocolate volcano of some sort. Makes me laugh just looking at it, but it was dang delicious! And that's the most important part.
Jacob had a great time. I can't believe how fast he is growing up. He's such a sweet boy, except when he's tormenting his little brother. But according to other mom's, that's his job?? His teacher had everyone in his class write him a birthday card and they all said such sweet things. It was such a boost for him since this school year has been a little difficult so far. So i'm thankful to his teacher for that.
That same day Brent and I celebrated our 10th anniversary. I woke up to a nice note and a new pair of slippers. Saturday my mom and dad came up and we hit the town Ditto style. That involved dinner at an italian restaurant, a few new clothes at the mall and yes, grocery shopping. I know, we are party animals. (We consider our cruise last spring our 10 year gift.) It was just so nice to be alone with no kids, and not in a rush to get back. It was a nice, relaxing evening. I am happy to say that we are still madly in love and I couldn't wish for a better man to be married too.

A day at the Kroc center.

Yesterday we had the honor of attending Dr. McDonalds patient appreciation day at the new Kroc center. The Kroc center is a new community center they just finished in Salem. It has swimming pools, a rock wall, fitness area, gym, theater, and many classes offered. It's kind of like an upgraded YMCA. It officially opens next week, so if you have spent a pretty penny at Dr. McDonalds (like we have) then you were invited to attend this event. The kids were really excited to swim. Remember when you went swimming as a kid. You could pretty much do anything except for running on the cement and holding your friends head under water for too long. Well, rules have changed. We found out that 1. kids are not allowed to wear there life jackets in the lazy river, or in the large pool area. I guess they would rather have those kids drown than wear their life jackets?? 2. You can only lay down on the slide, no sitting up. Because some genius built a metal support bar that you may hit your head on if sitting. Malia was too scared to lay down, so no slide for us. 3. None of my kids were allowed to get in the hot tub. 4. You are not allowed to toss your 2 yr old up into the air, no matter how many excited squeals are coming from her little mouth. 5. You cannot wear your goggles on the slide, they may injure your eyes. But you may put them around your wrist and slide down. We were only in the pool for about 40 minutes and had the whistle blown on our little family at least 4 times. Toward the end of the 40 minutes we were all huddled in the one area of the pool that did allow life jackets, looking at each other like "well, what CAN we do?" Seriously can't they just post a sign that says "swim at your own risk" and let us actually enjoy ourselves? And what's this new rule about NOT allowing kids to wear life jackets. When we questioned the pool manager about this she said kids are not allowed to wear life jackets in the lazy river because they might get caught in the current. Well I would rather have them caught in the current with their life jacket, then without. People are so stinking scared of getting sued these days that no one is allowed to have any fun.
Needless to say we won't be getting a membership. I do have to say that the center does offer tons of classes that I think the kids will love, and luckily the cost is the same whether your a member or not, but I don't think we'll be doing much swimming.
And since i'm already venting I have to add another short story. A while back I was leaving the gym and a Mary Kay representative was doing a drawing for free products. Well, I actually won. Yay! $10 in free products. So she called today and then the truth comes out. The $10 in free products is only good if you have her come to your house to do her 30-60 minute shpeel. Well I've heard the schpeel and I don't want to hear it again. If I don't do the schpeel it's $10 off $30 or more. Sounds like some false advertisement to me. I just wanted my free products, but since I wasn't willing to listen to the whole rundown and do a self-applied facial and have a "glamour" makeover, I get nothing. Lame....okay enough venting from me, I'll try to be more positive on the next post.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The frazzled housewife-yep that's me!

This week has been hard, really hard. But I can't complain because i've gotten myself into this mess. "This mess" consists of watching a 6 mo old for 9 hours a day, for three weeks. I'm sure you're asking yourself "what were you thinking?" I've been asking myself this question myself lately. I was thinking that babies sleep a lot, I was thinking it was the nice thing to do, I was also thinking of the $$. (Which by the way, is not much) well, it's NOT WORTH IT! This baby does not sleep a lot. He's a 20 minutes sleeper, but The hardest part of the situation is Claire, who is experiencing some baby jealousy. In the past two days, Claire has unraveled rolls of toilet paper, saturated her hair with hand soap, smeared doo-doo on her bedroom wall (maybe I shouldn't be potty training right now?), spilled dish detergent all over the floor, opened a bottle of nail polish and painted her hands, Cut up one of my library books and lastly, CUT THE BABIES HAIR! The sad thing is that I am almost ALWAYS in the same room as the baby, I ran upstairs to put away some laundry...was up there about 10 minutes and that's when it must have happened. I didn't even notice at the time, the baby's mom pointed it out to me and she was not too happy...and I felt like the worlds biggest shlup. I still do. I'm surprised that she's bringing him back tommorrow. So basically, I'm exhausted and I vow to never (unless you are my family and I love you dearly) watch another child under 1 for a long, long time. This is reaffirming my decision to stop at 4~

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Back to school!

Things have finally settled down at our house. The kids are all in school finally. Malia and Jacob started last week and Cole started yesterday. I thought Cole would be nervous on his first day, but he sat down at his seat and didn't seem to care that I was leaving him. He is so excited to be in school. This past weekend Brent took all of the kids to a rocket launch. Basically it's a big field and people pay a small fee to launch their rockets. It's an all day event with rockets of all different sizes. The kids thought it was awesome and i thought it was awesome to have the whole morning to myself!
I don't think I would be a good mom unless I posted my kids' 1st day of school pics! How cute is this guy, he's so excited!

Jacob on his first day. He's in a 1st/2nd grade blend this year and seems to be doing well. He had a rough few days as most of his good friends went into the charter school (we have a charter program within our school, it's a lottery pick to get in, but I didn't even try, since I have loved the teachers outside of the charter) He only knew a few kids in his class and they were girls. So it's been an adjustment for him. But Brent insists it will make him stronger. :)

Unlike Jacob, Malia has almost all of the same kids in her class as last year. She loves her teacher and is surrrounded by good friends. I've seen a definate improvement in her behavior since school has started. She loves to stay busy.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Wife the Computer Genius

Yes, Deena can truly do it all. Not only is she a decorator, but she can also solve any computer problem.

A few nights ago Deena was working on the computer when a virus started showing up and locking the computer down. This happened at night just before bed and I didn't have time to fix it, so I thought I'd fix it the next day after work....I never got the chance.

While I was at work the following day, Deena was busy troubleshooting the problem at home. She used our other, much slower, computer to look online at how to fix the problem. Once she found a suitable solution, she got busy implementing it. She found an anti-virus program, downloaded and installed it and killed that nasty virus.

Now our computer is running like new again! Is there anything my wife can't do...or figure out how to do? My next project for her is to change the timing belt on our car. I could get used to this...

Monday, August 31, 2009

Is it time for school already?

I just finished a really long post, clicked post and everything went blank, i'm starting from you are getting the condensed verion.

Wow, it's been a long time since i've posted anything. Summer has just flown by. Since I last posted we have been able to do some fun things. We took a trip to the zoo and enchanted forest. Picked lots of berries, swimming, etc, We played a mean game of rook with our friends the Parmenters and finally went up to Spokane for the Harvey Family reunion. We stayed at this great campground called Bear paw campground. Each family had there own little cabin. It was perfect, we were right by the river and had a pool, tennis course, volleyball, horseshoes, Koob, was just the perfect place for a family reunion. After the reunion Brent flew home, Jacob went home with his cousins to Yakima, we kept our cousin Alysee, and we hung out in Spokane for 4 days. The kids had a great time playing with their cousins and I had a great time hanging out with the girls. On our way to Yakima to pick up Jacob we stopped at one of the greatest waterparks in Moses lake. (of course No pictures to document this) I was so thanksful that my SIL Blayre came along to help with the four kiddos. We had a fabulous time. If you are ever near Moses Lake it's an amazing waterpark. It's just in the middle of nowhere. I was really proud of Malia, she was brave enough to go off the high dive. Of course there was an ice cream bribe involved. That night we stayed in Yakima. While we were there my SIL took these pics of the kids.

Overall it was a great trip. The week after we got home Brent left for his annual's "All brothers hike." (that's another post in itself) While he was gone I kept myself busy doing some redecorating. And as requested here's some pics.

The after pic: I found this great bed at a garage sale. It was a steal! I painted the nightstands, replaced the curtains and painted the walls "pebble grey." I love how it turned out. Claire's room, my SIL took these pictures of Claire. Did some digital scrapbooking magic to them and had them sent to Costco for me to pick up. Thanks Sara. She did all the work and i get to enjoy them. Just how I like it. :)

Our big project was putting in these new french doors. Before the space was a large dining room/living room area. We hardly ever used the dining room, it was just wasted space. So we decided to turn it into our office.

I did a lot of new vinyl projects. This is one that I think turned out well. It's so fun to be able to change my decor with the vinyl.

We are all ready for school to start. Still another week and a half. I'll have three in school this year, i'm so looking forward to that!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Summer fun

Summer is flying by, I can't believe it's almost August. We've been keeping busy. I'm horrible about remembering to take pictures, but here's a few i've gotten. We went to the beach a few weeks ago with some people from church. It was overcast, but not windy, that's all you can ask for at the Oregon coast.
At the beach we were at there is a huge sand dune that people like to climb up and then run down. It's pretty step (and high). I had to capture Malia doing what she does best, being dramatic. She literally crawled up the hill because it was "too hard" (insert really whiney voice) to walk. Of course she was thrilled once she reached the top. I love this picture. The kids chilling on the trampoline with their cousins. Malia was so sad for these guys to head back to California.

For the 4th of July we had a barbeque and had some friends over. It was a great night. The weather was perfect and we had great food. I had to get a picture of our friend Marty using his blowtorch to light the kids' fireworks. (So Marty-like)

Luckily our friends brought a few exciting fireworks (aka: illegal) so we had a little more variety to our fireworks display.

The rest of our summer has been filled with swimming lessons, tennis lessons, bike rides, and trips to the park. Nothing too exciting. We are looking forward to a fun family reunion in Washington in August. The kids and I are staying an extra week while Brent will return to work.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


We just returned from our annual trip to Sunriver. I think it was one of our best trips. The weather was perfect! The week flew by and I was left wishing we could stay just a few more days.
While we where their we celebrated Coles 5th birthday. What could be better than spending your birthday surrounded by family...and having a bakugan cake. This is my attempt at a bakugan cake, Cole loved it.

Cole got a new remote control monster truck, it's super fast. So fast that Cole can't really control it, so Brent has to drive it...hhmmm???..was that present really for Cole??

Cole is my mellow boy. Rarely does he have temper tantrums. He's completely happy playing playing by himself. He loves cars and legos. He is so affectionate and is always the first to give me hugs and kisses if he see's that i'm sad. I love that about him. He's also our daredevil and bets are on the table that he will be the first kid in the family with a broken bone. He also loves cheese. I know that's a random fact, but I say that because for his birthday he asked for a block of cheese. There were MANY things on his list and the block of cheese didn't make it to the gift table. A few days after his party he said sadly, "mommy you didn't get me my cheese." So sad, maybe for Christmas.
Back to our trip:
We spent time at the park playing baseball
Going for bike rides
swimming...lots of swimming!
Claire is our water baby and threw a fit everytime we told her it was time
to leave the pool. And wow, can she throw a tantrum!
Family hike to Benham falls. Malia was unseperable from her cousins. I think I saw her once or twice this whole trip.

It was a fabulous trip, already looking forward to next year!

tball and softball

Well we made it through softball season. This is the first time that i've had two kids in a sport at a time, i've always had a "one at a time" rule. I have a whole new respect for my mom, who had 6 kids involved in multiple different sports. And i'm just beginning. This was Malia's first year playing. I was impressed with how much she improved. She didn't have a super passionate coach (saying that nicely) but I think she had fun anyway. Jacob loved tball, it was fun to see how much better he was this year compared to last. You could tell he was one of the older kids. He loves everything about baseball and had a great year. Next year I may have 3 playing, Yikes!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The other day Jacob had a friend over to play. After they had been playing for awhile the boys asks "Hey Jacob, do you have a playstation?" Jacob, having no idea what a playstation is, replies, "yeah, my ROOM is my playstation." I had a good laugh over that!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Much ado about nothing

Today was just one of those days again. We decided it was time to take away Claire's pacifier. She usually spends half of her day whining for me to find her paci. Last night/morning she woke up at 5:30 demanding her paci. I stumbled into her room and looked EVERYWHERE, under her mattress, her pillow, pulled the bed out from the wall and looked there..I never did find it. I had to go downstairs and search for one. Not something I wanted to be doing at 5:30am. That's when I decided it was time to banish the paci....forever! So you may want to stay away from the Ditto household for a few days, as there will be a lot of whining, screaming and crying going on. (and not just Claire) I was also frustrated with the boys today. Cole who is my mellow one, threw a tantrum at a friends house and tried to hit me. Then at Malia's softball game tonight they decided to pull their pants down and try to get pee on each other. Luckily I didn't witness this...and I hope they managed to be far away from people. But I was SOOO mad. I'm sure in 20 years i'll laugh at their 4 and 6 year old antics. But today it was not funny. I sent them to bed without dinner. I think most of my frustration is just me feeling blah...I haven't exercised in over a week, because I pulled something in my foot during the marathon and it was hurting pretty bad. But it's slowly been getting better, So tonight I went to the gym and had a good workout. It's amazing what a good workout can do for a grouchy mom!
The one highlight of the day was a discover the boys made in the back yard. Malia built a birdhouse at school last year. It's sitting on our table in the backyard. Today the boys lifted up the opening in the side of the birdhouse and a bird flew out, it had built a nest inside and there are 6 little red and white eggs inside. It was pretty cool and Jacob declared today "The best day of his whole life" ( until he was banished to his room without dinner)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Marathon weekend

Well my big day has come and gone and I'm still alive. Friday night the kids and I headed over to Depoe Bay where we were renting a house with 5 other runners and their families. It was a great house with 8 rooms, so there was plenty of room for everyone. Brent came over after work. Saturday morning came early, we had to be out of the house by 6:15. We were all a little anxious. This pic is taken right before we left:
Natalie and I started the race doing about a 10 minute mile. We stayed together until about mile 15 before we split up. I felt really good until about mile 19, then I could feel myself losing steam. But I kept running. About mile 22 I was getting really tired and started to run/walk. My goal was to finish in 5 hours and I finished in 5 hours 12 minutes. The last mile I was so tired that I was feeling super emotional, I had a hard time not crying as I crossed the finish line. Here's a link to my "finish line" pictures. (hopefully the link works) Overall it was such a rewarding experience. I'm so glad I did it, and might even consider doing another one...gotta beat that 5 hour mark!
This is a pic of what happens when you decide to wear a different sports bra on race day, then the one you'd been wearing while training. As my friend Linae said "Deena, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!" Lesson learned.
After the race we went to get Burgers and Milkshakes. For once I felt like I could chow and not feel guilty! That afternoon we went to the beach for a while, but being Oregon, it was cold and windy. So here I am trying to comfort two little girls who were ready to go home.

Malia and Jacob didn't seem to mind the cold!