Thursday, December 8, 2011

An Early Christmas present

A few years ago (like 5?) we got an old table from some friends. Brent did some work on it and wa-la, it looked like it does in the photo below. It was a great table, but after we moved into our new home, we found that the table was a tight fit. Also the wood veneer we used was started to peel up in some places. And i've always dreamed of having a farmhouse table with benches. So the table underwent a second makeover. This time Brent actually cut the whole table down the middle lengthwise and put it all back together. I don't really know everything he did, I just know that I lOVE it! See bottom pic for final product.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My invisalign story

I can't believe i'm posting this picture, especially after Claire told me last week that I have a lot of nose hair. Leave it to your 4 year old to get up close and personal.
Well, last week I received my first invisalign tray. Invisalign is like "invisible braces." My teeth have been shifting a bit and I have some wonky teeth, so I figured why not? Let me tell you, I was regretting my decision last week. The trays fit so snugly that the first night I was in tears trying to get them off. I finally gave up and went to bed hungry (you can't eat with them in) Then I found that the tray was cutting into the bottom of my tongue, so I spent two days trying not to move my tongue and talking like a crazy person. I am happy to report that I can now get both trays out in a minute or less! And the pain under my tongue is gone. My teeth are sore, but I am trying to focus on the end result. The picture below shoes the "buttons" that they put on my teeth, they help keep the trays on and put pressure on certain areas so the teeth can shift. I've been pretty self-conscious of them, but as my brother-in-law Kelly said, "they are hardly noticeable..they just look like you have some stuff stuck in your teeth." Luckily I know he was kidding, right? I'm hoping to take some pictures along the way so I can see the progress. only 11-16 more months to go...

The Tree hunt

Last year around this time, we were reminded that we now longer lived in the Christmas tree capital. All of the sudden I was expected to fork out 30-50 dollars for a tree I would have paid $15 for the year before. Luckily we found a place to cut down our trees for only $10. There is a paper company in the area that owns a lot of land and for $10 you can get a day pass and go cut down a tree. So I convinced all of the family to join us. The tree's are always slightly charlie brownish...but that's part of the charm, right? Our tree this year actually turned out pretty great, although it's big!
Below: We like to give our kids things like saws and knives to play with...
Logan proud of his tree conquest
Claire loved Christmas tree hunting. And loved it even more that her cousins were there.

All done!

Thanksgiving in Oregon

This year we spent Thanksgiving in Oregon. I always look forward to heading home. As we were driving I kept saying things like "look how green that field is. it's like green velvet." I'm sure Brent got tired of my comments, but he put up with me. It was great to see all of my family. One of our highlights was going to the indoor waterpark in McMinnville. The kids had a blast and I went down so many waterslides I left dizzy. Brent and I also took advantage of no sales tax and did most of our Christmas shopping on black Friday. It's so nice to "almost" be done. The weekend went by way to quickly, before we new it we were heading back to Idaho! I have to give another huge thanks to Birch and Sara for watching our dog while we were away!!

Cupcake wars

This year we had our second annual Ditto Family cupcake wars. Claire and I made Oreo cupcakes and Mayan chocolate cupcakes. I tied for first place with my Oreo cupcakes. Although the mayan chocolate cupcakes were my absolute favorite. I love anything with a cinnamon/chocolate combination. Now I have to start thinking of next years cupcakes so I can retain my spot as co-winner.

A few more halloween pics

Monday, November 14, 2011


How is it November already? This time of year always seems to fly by. For Halloween this year we headed up to Logan and Julia's house. Since we have three neighbors, we figured that trick or treating might be better somewhere else. Logan and Julia have the perfect trick-or-treating neighborhood. We had some halloweenie type finger foods then headed out to hit the neighborhood. We all split up and I took a few of the younger girls. We around 1 block before Claire decided that she had enough candy and didn't want to stop at anymore houses. She was the first one back...the boys came home when there load became too heavy to carry. We have A L O T of candy. Malia dressed up as a baby, Claire was a witch, Jacob was a zombie and Cole was a wizard. Of course, we took no pictures so I snagged this one from my sis-in-law...

October was busy, and I can't even really say with what...scouts, young girls, Relief society, spinning class, basketball, house projects, etc. The kids are enjoying school. Malia recently started piano lessons and I also signed her and Jacob up for basketball. We've all been healthy and are happy! Can't wait for Thanksgiving, and to head to Oregon for a few days!

Monday, October 10, 2011


finished, finito, terminado, i am DONE with my rock path. Who's idea was that anyway. Here's the story. When we started landscaping our new home, we were a little overwhelmed with the amount of rocks in the dirt. Everytime we took a rake to the ground to smooth it out, more rocks would pop up. I was missing my nice fertile Oregon soil. But instead of moping we decided to take our lemons and make lemonaid, or rather take our rocks and make a path. I think it was Brent's idea to take the rocks and make a pathway, figures since it was ME and completely me that hand laid each rock on this path. And although it's far from perfect, I have to say that I am pretty proud of it. And I have to say that this picture makes it look much, much smaller than it really is.........

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

AGW-all girls weekend

After several years of Brent and his brother's getting together for ABH and leaving the girls at home to fend with the kids. We finally decided that we deserve a weekend too. So this year was our 3rd annual AGW. I hosted it at my house. We were all there except for Tavia, who hopefully will join us next year. The goal of AGW is to relax and eat and do everything girly, relax some more and eat some more. I think we accomplished that. We started off our weekend with massages at a day spa, followed by some shopping. That evening we went to an italian villa (seriously) where we had one of the best, most elaborate cooking classes by one of Annie's friends. Sharon used to live in Italy and she spoiled us with food and more food! We ate so much we nearly split our pants. We learned how to make quite a few new dishes and had a great time.
Saturday, we spent the morning making crafts and eating of course. We made these cute felt flowers that can be pinned onto a dress or put on a headband. I made a big mustard colored one, because i am obsessed with all things mustard lately.Saturday afternoon we went to check out the town of coeur d'alene. It was a warm Saturday and the town was hoppin' We stopped for frozen yogurt, and found the perfect gift for our new italian hostess Sharon. We walked to the waterfront and people watched for awhile. Along the way we stopped for some photo ops.
Trying to look sexy, blayre seems to be the only one who has this down.
Then we tried to recreate this shot....
Not sure if I like this one...
or this one..I think i'll leave the cool jumping stunts to Brent.
Proof that Mom was there, she tried to slip behind the camera many times. This time we made her stop and smell the flowers.
We spent Saturday afternoon at church attending women's conference. Yes, we are totally righteous like that. We left uplifted by Pres. Uchtdorf's talk, which by the way I just found out I have to speak on in sacrament meeting next week. Good thing the talk was AMA-zing. My arms look humongous in this pic. ugh
After conference we went to the resort restaurant in coeur d'alene and had a smooshy, squishy..ah a GOOEY. They are famous for these and now I see why. One of the first times in my life that I couldn't finish my dessert. AND i was sharing. I can't tell you how much I love these girls. We had a great weekend, laughing, relaxing and eating. Here's to another great AGW

First day of school

The kids were in a new school again this year. Three different schools in three years. Basically Cole has gone to a new school every single year of his school career. The kids were pretty nervous this year. The school they are going too is pretty scary looking from the outside. It's old and the grounds aren't too impressive, but we kept hearing good things about the teachers and staff.
Malia started fifth grade. I swear she's 10 going on 20. She got the teacher she wanted and made friends quickly. She is enjoying school and especially wednesdays when they have a zumba instructor come and teach them all sorts of crazy dance moves. She is also in "starburst" or talented and gifted. So one day a week she is pulled from her class to go to starburst. They get to do some pretty fun stuff and she is in it with a few close friends, so she is enjoying that.
Jacob is enjoying school as well. He is into playing 4 square at recess. He is such a good boy and his teacher already loves him.
Cole seems to be enjoying school as well. The first day of school he came home and wouldn't talk to anyone or eat his dinner. He was GRUMPY. I was sure that he was being bullied at school or something. :) Turns out he was just adjusting to being on a schedule again and he was fine the next day. He is my boy who is content to eat and play alone at recess. Although this makes my mommy heart sad...he doesn't seem to care. He is just happy doing whatever he's doing
Claire has one more year with mommy. I love spending time with her. I am dong a co-op preschool with some ladies from church. So claire goes twice a week to that. She loves her "school" and looks forward to mondays and wednesdays. She loves to help me clean the house, watch movies and play with skipper.

catching up-Cavanaugh 2011

It's become a Ditto family tradition to head to Lake Cavanaugh in Northern Washington every summer. For the past few years we haven't made the trip, but this year we did, and we were so glad we did. My sister-in-law's family owns a cabin on the lake that they so graciously let us use. The lake and surrounding area are beautiful and the kids have a great time playing with their cousins. One of their favorite things (and the dad's favorite things) is to jump off the dock, showing off their favorite new pose or seeing who can catch a football while doing a triple sumersault reverse dive. Cole loved jumping off the dock!
Jacob....not so much. We couldn't get this guy to do much. He is definately our cautious boy. This picture is Brent and I trying everything in our power, ie. bribes of candy and money, to get him to jump off the dock just once. We thought if he tried it once then he would realize that it's not that scary. By the end of this conversation, Jacob was crying and Brent wanted to push him off the dock. Luckily he had me around to convince him that that wasn't the best parenting method for trying to get your child to do something. In fact they say that about bribery, but whatever...
Maybe he'll jump next year :)

The boys had a new toy to try out this year. There was a catamaran that they were all anxious to try. They had a quick lesson by a neighbor and then they were off. Brent took me out once and it would have been totally relaxing if I hadn't seen once of these completely tip over the day before. (But Brent convinced me that those people didn't know what they were doing.) I did learn that they can be a fun, relaxing ride...unless you run out of wind. Then you sit in the middle of the lake and pray for more wind. Luckily our prayers were answered.
Of course it's not Lake Cavanaugh without lots, and lots and lots of skiing
Malia spent a lot of time with the kids in the paddle boat. She was their guide.

Claire had a great time playing with cousins and even was brave enough to hop on the jet ski with mom and dad. Luckily Daddy didn't dump her like he does me...
And we can't forget that on this trip, these two became engaged. Yep, Brent's youngest brother Andrew proposed to his now fiancee Erin on a paddle boat ride to the middle of the lake. We tried to convince him to take the catamaran, but when there's no wind...the paddle boat it is. And when you are in love it doesn't matter. We are so happy for them and their upcoming wedding!

Monday, September 26, 2011

ABH - Ross Lake!

Every year my bros and I get together to spend a few days together roughing it in the wilderness. Normally we go on a 3 day hike somewhere, but this year we decided to do something a bit different. We spent 3 days canoeing in the beautiful Ross and Diablo Lakes area in northern Washington.

On our first day we had to travel about 14 miles. Since we did not get off until about 10 or 11am that first day I was wondering if we would make it to our desitination before dark (the park ranger had her doubts). We were pleseantly suprised to find that we could travel pretty easily at about 3.5 mph...even faster than we can hike. So we made it to Cat Island in plenty of time to set up camp.

The second day we went on a hike up to one of the mountain peaks in the area. We had a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains and Canada. We also met a guy at the top of the peak who lives up there 10 days at a time to watch for fires. I think he was very glad to have some company. Later that day we found a sweet 45 foot cliff to jump off. When we were at the top looking down it looked like a 100 foot jump! Luckily none of us sustained any permanent damange from the plunge.

The scenery was beautiful and the company was great. I always enjoy haning out with my bros. Besides the mosquitoes it was practically the perfect guys weekend.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Last week I had the opportunity to go to BYU's education week. It was AH-mazing! I left there on such a spiritual high that I was sure I would be the perfect mom for at least a few weeks. And besides one yelling incident today (dang!) i'm doing pretty good. Can I say again how amazing it was?
While I was gone Brent took the kids to The silverwood amusement park. They earned free tickets during the school year for reading. We had never gone and the kids were looking forward to the day I left for my trip, because it meant they were going to play! They had a great time, they spent about 10 hours at the park. Luckily some friends took Claire so there were no 4 year old tantrums involved. I have to admit i'm a little jealous that I didn't get to go...maybe next year. Malia and Jacob rode the big wooden roller coaster. Brent said that Malia was white as a ghost when she got off and Jacob was not feeling quite as brave when HE got off.

Malia on the ferris wheel
Jacob on some elephant thingy
Cole...please don't judge the hair. He always wants a "summer" mohawk. Except he doesn't want to take the time to spike it up...therefore it's a summer big patch of awkward hair on his head. It's coming off tomorrow!
The pool area. I guess the water was freezing, but that didn't slow them down. Again...feeling jealous. My spirituality was more important right?


Both of the boys wanted to play baseball this summer. I, being the awesome planner that I am, signed them up for different day so that we wouldn't have any game conflicts. This also meant that we were at the ball field monday through Thursday every night for 6 weeks. Oh, the things we do for our kids. Cole was still playing t-ball, where watching a game is kind of like watching paint dry. BUT, he had fun and i'm sure he learned some pretty awesome ball skills? Jacob was in the next level up, he is really starting to love baseball and is getting pretty good. Looking foward to many more years of ball with these boys.