Thursday, December 9, 2010

O Christmas tree, O christmas tree

I've been spoiled. Living in Oregon you can find a beautiful Christmas tree for a bargain. I figured here in Spokane, land of the evergreen tree, it would be the same. I was wrong. I called a u-cut Christmas tree farm and they wanted $50 for a tree. Costco wanted $40. I couldn't bring myself to pay that much. So we went and got a $10 permit and cut down our own. It looks like a $10 tree too, but the experience was worth it. We found two great sledding hills, this is the first one we found. We did some sledding, drank some hot chocolate and then decided it was time to hunt down a tree. We spent so much of our time sledding that it was getting late in the afternoon and we didn't have a lot of time to hunt for the perfect tree. So rather than stay with the whiny 3 year old, I went in search of the tree. I found one, which took me about 20 minutes to cut down (would have taken Brent about 5 min). But I got it down and back to the truck. It was a great day, minus the whiny 3 year old. Next time she stays home!

Malia having a snack. :)

Claire posing in front of our Charlie Brown Christmas tree. It's a little sparce in places :) Claire calls this her "Miley Cyrus" pose.

Cole showing off his new glasses. Yep, both boys now have glasses. They were so excited to pick them up. Although I give it a week before the novelty wears off. I think he looks a little like Ralphie Parker in "A Christmas Story" (see pic below)
We are headed to Oregon for Christmas, we are looking forward to seeing old friends and spending time with family. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Brent czech'd out

Last week Brent was able to fly to the czech republic for work. Just a little perk of working for a great company ;) I was excited for him to go and "czech" out the countryside (sorry had to do it) Unfortunately he was pretty busy with work, lame-0. But he had a few hours on his last day there to take some pictures. The first picture is actually in taken in Prague. The bridge he is standing on is called the "Charles Bridge" It has these really cool old statues on it. They started building it in 1357! I didn't take this next picture, but thought it gave you a better idea of what the bridge looks like. It looks like a bridge that would be used in some mission impossible movie, where a guy is murdered and then thrown over the edge of the bridge. Really, doesn't it? Looking at the rest of the pictures makes me want to be a world traveler. I'll add that to my "someday" list.

Monday, November 15, 2010

For the love of Pete!

There is craziness happening in Spokane. Neighbors are putting up Christmas lights, stores are decked out with Christmas decorations, and this morning on the way to school the kids said "mom play some Christmas music." I informed them that none of the radio stations are playing Christmas music and just to prove my point I changed the station. Guess what was playing on that very comes santa claus! Today Claire seemed to think that when it got dark, Santa was coming. I had to break it to her gently (about 20 times) that Santa would not be coming to the house today. Seriously...can we have Thanksgiving first?
On another note...just an update on our house situation. We found a house a few weeks ago that we fell in love with. 5 acres, charming updated cape code farmhouse, barn, playhouse, tool was perfect. We looked at it twice before we made an offer, which was quickly accepted. All was going well until the dreaded inspection. Holy cow...there were all sorts of hidden problems. Plumbing leaks, electrical issues, some strucural issues, etc, etc, etc.. the list goes on. We could ask for an allowance from the sellers or have them drop the price, but the phrase, "money pit" kept running through my head. Scenes from Tom Hanks "money pit" movie were flashing through my head. So today we backed out of our offer based on the inspection. Suddenly a brand new house sounds very appealing! :) One of these days things will work out, right??

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Oh Halloween, how I love thee

Yes, I love Halloween. I love the decorations and the costumes and of course the candy. This year we headed up to the south hill to do some trick-or-treatin' with the cousins. We had a yummy dinner and then hit the road. I tried to take a picture of the boys but they were so hyper they wouldn't stand still. Behind them is their cousin George dressed as some cool ninja guy...He kind of blends into the background, that camo really works! The little girls were princess, of course. And Malia was a flower girl. And once again I left a child out of the pictures, sorry malia! They had a great time and came home with a nice haul for mom and Dad to snack on for the next month!


A few weekends ago, My SIL julia, kicked her husband and kids out of the house so that us moms could have a "girls weekend" (more on that later) Her family came to Grannie's house. (where we are living) So Claire had lots of time to play with her BFF.. aka. cousin jane. I sat down to look at the pictures on my camera and discovered that Malia had a photo shoot with the 3 year olds. Too cute, I hope they do stay friends forever!

Monday, October 18, 2010

1st annual cupcake wars

If you are an avid food network viewer like myself, you'll know what cupcake wars are. Its a show where some of the best cupcake makers from the U.S compete in a cupcake bake-off. The reward is to have their cupcakes featured at some big gala or event. They have to come up with unusual, creative flavor combinations. So, here at the Ditto household, we decided to have our own cupcake wars. The cupcakes featured were: Malia-cookie dough cupcakes, Me-"elvis" cupcakes, or banana cupcake, peanut butter frosting and bacon bits on top, Debbie, coconut cupcakes, Julia-chocolate peanut butter cupcakes. And the winner is (drumroll).....Malia's cookie dough cupcakes, they were brown sugar cupcakes with a cookie dough center, and cookie dough frosting. They were yummy and the first to disappear. My cupcakes won most creative, or in other words...nice try. They were yummy, but a little too unusual for this crowd. Which consisted of the majority being under 9. The bacon bits freaked them out a bit. I'll have to save this recipe for a more "refined" group. :) We had a great time making them, and made ourselves sick eating them. We'll definately be doing this again.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dora vs peyton

One of my favorite cereals is the new "wheaties fuel." I like a little sprinkled on some yogurt in the morning. When it first came out I was trying to get Claire to eat some for breakfast. She wanted nothing to do with it....until I told her it was Dora the explorer cereal. Yes, I lied, and nevermind the tough jock guy on the front of the box. (Is that peyton manning??)...anyway, She ate every last bite. That was a good 10 months ago. Today we went grocery shopping and she shouted, "mommy, buy Dora, buy Dora, pointing at mr.tough guy. I wonder how long it will take her to realize that this cereal has nothing to do with Dora the explorer.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The not so eventful anniversary

Brent and I share our anniversary with Jacob's birthday. So we celebrated Jacob's birthday Friday night with family, by having a burrio bar and costco's enormous chocolate cake. It was a fun, crazy evening. Jacob is turning 8 and will be getting baptized on Oct. 9th. I will be happy to have my camera back by then! More pics to come.
So Saturday Brent and I decided to celebrate our anniversary by going to silverwood amusement park. I had gotten a free ticket and since it is the end of the season, prices were discounted. The only problem is that the weather was pretty yuck...drizzly, cold. But we're troopers and headed up anyways. On the way up I stopped for some motion sickness pills and popped a few of those (roller coasters make me nauseous otherwise) So we get there and learn that our free ticket is only good for kids under the age of 18, we also learn that half of the rides are closed down due to the weather. So we decide to scrap the idea. I'm feeling a bit tired anyway. So, we head to downtown coeur d'Alene to walk around and check things out. By the time we get out of the car I am SO sleepy, the kind of sleepy where you feel almost sick from trying to stay awake. We walk around for a little bit before I have to ask Brent to park himself on a bench, so I can lay down on his lap and have a snooze. I'm starting to question if I have MS or mono or something....I shouldn't be this tired. We checked out a few stores and then headed to a yummy mediterranean restaurant called "the white house" for dinner. SO yummy, but my mother-in-law claimed we made the house smell like garlic for the next 24 hours. After dinner we went to check out our "dream property", went to Cabela's and then headed home, where I fell asleep at 8:30 while Brent watched football. Pretty exciting eh?? It wasn't until the next morning that I realized it was those stupid motion sickness pills that made me so tired! I seriously thought something was wrong with I'm chalking it up as the lamest anniversary ever. But the good news is...we still love each other!! And Brent loves me even if I make him park himself on a bench so I can take a snooze in downtown Coeur d'Alene!
*Update on the house situation*
We have found a couple who are planning to sign a lease to own agreement with us. They are leasing the home for two years with the option to buy after that. They put down a larger downpayment up front and then a portion of the monthly payment goes toward the purchase price of the home. At the end of the two years if they decide not to buy, we get that money. Hopefully they will though :) They want to be in this Saturday, so we are headed down Thursday to do a frantic pack-up and move out.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New school, new shoes

Guess who left their camera in Keizer last weekend. Guess who didn't realize this until it was time for "first day of school pics." I'm so lame.
School started last week for the three older kids. They were all nervous about starting a new school. Heck, I was nervous. But they all came home happy after the first day, and the next day and the next...I think it will all work out. :)
So the week before school started I took the kids to wal-mart to pick out one new school outfit. Gone are the days of several new school's been reduced down to one. Well, Malia found a pair of shoes that she really wanted, that I refused to buy for her. They were only ten dollars so I told her she could earn the money herself and buy them. Heck, when I was in school I had to buy ALL of my own school clothes. I got up at 6am in the summer to pick strawberries to buy those school clothes. Nevermind that she's only 9. Around the same time she learned how to finger knit at the YMCA youth zone. She spent hours finger knitting scarves and then decided she wanted to sell them door to door. I would rather have a root canal than sell things door to door, but being the good mom that I am, I agreed. I found myself hiding behind bushes and trees to avoid being spotted by neighbors. Bless those neighbors...they were good to Malia. She was selling her scarves for a quarter, but several people gave her a dollar. Soon she had enough for her a new pair of earrings. I have to say I was pretty proud of my little girl. Lesson learned: when your child wants something bad enough, they will figure out a way to get it. (which hopefully doesn't involve stealing)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

summer happenin's

This summer has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for me. I've never been one for change. So moving out of my home, that I love has been hard. Waiting for the house to sell and wondering if it will ever happen. Everyone who's been through it can attest..that it's no fun. But in the meantime, we are trying our best to just have fun this summer. Luckily i've moved close to some amazing family and it's been fun to get together with them. Last week I signed the boys up for soccer. Neither of them had ever played. The last day I thought I would show up early and take some's what I found. (You may have to click on picture)

Every picture I took had Cole standing around, picking his nose or pulling his jersey over his head. Soccer is not his thing. We're still searching for "his thing". Jacob on the other hand loved soccer and was quite the "Star."

Malia took a hip-hop class at the YMCA. She is now ready to dance at weddings, birthdays, etc. Just give us a call to book a show.

Friday night we went camping at Lake Coeur d'Alene with the other brothers (refers to all of Brents family in the area...which in case you are curious, consists of a mom, three brothers and a sister) The kids had a great time playing with cousins, but we had to pack up early the next morning and head to Schweitzer mountain because brent's work was having a "get-together" there. We rode the chair lift up to the top of the mountain and looked around. Amazing views. We ate at an overpriced restaurant, hiked and picked huckleberries. Again the views were amazing...but if we could do it again I think we would have stayed in Coeur d'Alene and waterskiied with the family. Oh well, you learn! That evening we ate our huckleberries with waffles and whipped cream. Yum! One thing I can say about huckleberries is it's a lot of work for little reward. I'll stick with blueberries.

When looking through all of the pictures, the best ones were all taken by Malia. I may have to hand over picture taking duty to her permanently.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer fun

Who needs a swimming pool when you have a cooler??

Cole Turns 6!

Cole turned six last week, we celebrated his birthday in Spokane. It was great having all of his cousins around. We started out the day with his birthday breakfast request of sausage and pancakes. For lunch we headed to chuck-e-cheese, skipped the pizza and just played games. I've finally learned that's all the kids want anyways. Instead of a cake Cole requested Doughnuts. We had a small barbeque that night and opened presents. His only request "legos". Cole is my quiet mellow boy. I'd describe him as a lover not a fighter. :) And although he's quiet he's my most mischievous. For example, last month I asked him to empty the dishwasher. I was in the other room and heard some strange, i'm not unloading the dishwasher sounds. It was Cole taking a large kitchen knife to one of my kitchen drawers. He was making little notches in the wood. Curious or just trying to get out of EVER doing the dishes again? Probably a little of both. Cole's really loves to build things. Someday he'll be Brent's best helper in the garage...doing whatever guys do in the garage. Can't wait for that day.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Spring in (quick) review

Malia played on a 10 and under softball team this year. They were a very young, inexperienced team. Which meant quite a few losses. But, she had an amazing coach who made each game fun and she learned a lot. She even had her first slide into home plate. (even though I had to bribe her with $5) She did it! It was one of the wettest springs in Oregon history so we had quite a few games cancelled. But with each game they had, they improved.

Jacob on his 2nd to last day of school. Camping out in the front of the school and wearing pajamas.
Cole on his last day of Kindergarten. The teachers sprayed shaving cream on the tables for the kids to play with. On to bigger and better things in ALL DAY 1st grade next year!

Giving one of his teachers (mrs. Morrow) a final hug.

Cole's field trip to enchanted Forest. It POURED! But the kids didn't seem to mind..I on the other hand was counting down the minutes to when it was over. :)
Claire playing with her dollhouse, she has quite the imagination and set up this little house on her own. She keeps us laughing!

So for those of you wondering. No, we still have not sold our house. We will be heading to Spokane and staying there with Brent's mom until our house sells. Please keep praying for this to happen quickly. Luckily we have a "house sitter" to stay here and to make sure everything is taken care of....on to the next adventure in our lives.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Is it the end of May already??

Brent hinted that I should update the blog. I agree i've lost the blogging bug, but I'll try my best to update occasionally. Mostly their is nothing too update...but here goes.
It's been almost two months now that i've been a "single mom." Brent is loving his job at ALK abello. He loves the people and the atmosphere. I'm thankful for that. I can't say that i'm loving my job right now :) but i'm trying my best to remain positive. I feel like 80% of my life right now consists of cleaning, and more cleaning. Trying to keep the house clean enough to show it, with four kids, is a full time job. The other 20% of my life is sitting at baseball games. (freezing cold ones I might add) We have had one of the coldest, rainiest springs here in Oregon. Just so I don't sound totally pessimistic, I have amazing friends who are always willing to help. Friends who have brought me dinner, taken my kids so I can have a break, and just called or stopped by to say hi. I'm so thankful for good friends.
I've been trying to keep myself busy with other projects. I made a dress for myself, and the pillows pictured below. I also made some decorative fabric balls (pic below), I just need to find something cute to put them in.
The newport marathon is coming up in a few weeks. Brent is running with his brother and another friend and his training is going great. I on the other hand have not been able to train, so I am planning on running as far as I can and then walking the rest. Definately not expecting to beat my time from last year...just trying to complete it this year. We are looking forward to a fun weekend on the coast.

Jacob is doing great in baseball. He is a good little infielder! Cole is...well in his first year where no one can catch or throw. They are just cute to watch!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

We miss you!

In October we had a new family move in across the street from us. We became fast friends. Our kids were the same ages and loved playing together. Jorie became a great friend and helped me out with babysitting and was so easy to talk to. Unfortunately (for us) they had another job opportunity come up in Las Vegas and they had to move. Even though we only knew them for 6 months, we felt like we knew them forever and were so sad to see them go. Here's some pics of the kids right before they left.

Cole and Madelyn, they were in the same kindergarten class and loved playing together
Jacob and Caden were also in the same first grade class, as well as the same primary class. These two were best friends

All of the kids including Claire. We love these guys, and miss them so much!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I apologize ahead of time if this post is totally brain is just functioning that way right now. I haven't posted anything for a month and it's been a crazy month. We took two trips to Spokane. The second time we left Brent behind to start his new job, while I returned to Keizer with the kids. More on that later. While we were in Spokane we celebrated Claire's 3rd birthday. And being the 4th child...these are the only pictures I have of the celebration. I have given up on trying to make cute cakes and luckily 3 year olds are easily convinced to have a "KRISPY KREME CASTLE!" Seriously, who would not want that? We were able to celebrate with lots of cousins. Later that night we took the kids to raptor reef, an indoor waterpark, to finish off the celebration. Of course they had a blast, and of course....I took no pictures. :)

Jacob was chosen to have his artwork displayed in the district art fair. This was his second year in a row to have his artwork picked. He was very proud of this, and luckily this year we made it to actually see his displayed artwork (unlike last year....don't ask)

So the kids and I are on our own. Malia, Jacob and Cole are all playing softball/baseball. Seriously, I don't know how my mom did it. Three kids to practice, on the same night, at the same time??? It's craziness. Things were pretty good until yesterday when I started feeling pretty sorry for myself. Brent is off doing fun stuff, while i'm here...blah blah blah. Let's just say I had a little mommy meltdown. But here's the crazy part. After church today, my neighbor who lives two houses down (she's a member) asked to come over and talk to me. Basically, her granddaughter, who is 19 is coming to live in Keizer after living a few years back east. This young girl used to babysit for me before she moved and she was great. Anyway, the grandma has foster kids in her home and they are all boys. So basically, she needs a place for her granddaughter to sleep in exchange for babysitting/cleaning. A free babysitter, sounds like heaven. I'm sitting here amazed at what a blessing this will be. A blessing for me and for my neighbor....Heavenly Father is definately looking out for us. (Now, if we could only sell our house......)

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Well, most of you have already heard our announcement, so this won't be anything new, but just in case you haven't heard...Brent received a job offer for a company in Post Falls, ID (just outside Spokane). He starts in 11 days and he is so excited! He is excited about the company, they are growing and offer things like a bonus program, retirement contributions, and shorter hours! Things that he does not get now. He will no longer have to commute 2 hrs a day, YAY! And how do I feel about this you ask? Honestly, I have mixed feelings. I've lived in Oregon pretty much my whole life (except for college) My parents live in the same house my Dad built when I was a toddler. I'm not big on change. I have the best friends i've ever had, here in Keizer. I'll be leaving family, but moving closer to family. I do know that this is the right decision, I guess i'm just SCARED, to have to go through the process of getting to know people and starting all over in a new place. So Brent starts his job on the 22nd and I will stay here and attempt to sell the house. Brent will be coming home every other weekend, but otherwise i'm on my own. I am praying that the house sells quickly, or else they may have to commit me to an insane asylum. Either that or i'll gain a hundred lbs from all the brownies i'll be downing on those Friday nights he's gone :) So please pray that we will sell quickly!

One happy mama

Okay, i'm posting this, not to brag, but because this blog has become my journal and I want to remember this. Last night around 6 I received a call from the school. I thought it was strange to be getting a call from a teacher at that hour. Anyway, it was Jacob's teacher and she started out by saying, "I just wanted to call you and tell you how much I love Jacob and enjoy having him in class." She said Jacob was a great example to the other kids. She said that she has never taught someone that age who had such a big heart. She went on to give examples of things he had said or done in the classroom. This is the same boy that I was yelling at 10 minutes earlier for hitting and kicking his brother and I was feeling frustrated! By the end of her phone call I was almost in tears. Honestly, it is the best compliment in the world for a mom to hear such great things about one of their kids and I can't tell you how happy it made me to know that he is actually learning the things we are trying to teach him. And I thought it was so sweet of his teacher to take the time out of her day to call me and let me know what she thought of Jacob. It made me one happy mama!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Home projects

Here's a few sneak peeks at the projects going on around the house. The first pic is the new tile we put down in the kids' bathroom. We are also planning on tiling the countertops with a dark tile (you can see it in the corner of the pic) I also painted the cabinets white.

The master bath...this was quite the project. We had to rip out the old tile and patchup the sheetrock. We tiled it to match the counters that Brent did last fall.
The downstairs bath. It's so small, it was hard to get a picture of the whole thing, so you get it in pieces. The last picture is of some vinyl I did above the toilet, I was feeling too cheap to buy any artwork :)