Monday, September 30, 2013

My Life Plan...

At the beginning of each school year I always ask the kids a series of "favorite" questions to post with their picture for the year.  This year after Alysee wrote her "Life Plan" I was inspired by Alysee to ask each of the kids their life plan.  I think in a few years this should be so fun to reflect back on.
Alex - 15 year's old; would like to do the Running Start program starting next year (a program offered through the state to attend the local community college and receive both high school and college credit tuition-free); he would like to play varsity baseball and varsity x-country in high school; Alex would like to go on his mission at age 18 year's old (right after he graduates) and guesses he might go to England; get married at age 22; attend BYU-Provo for his undergrad and then go to med school to be an ENT or dentist; Alex would like four kids max (one named Bridget); Alex's bucket list includes: go ski diving, climb Mt. Rainer, run in a marathon, and travel around the world.

Tyler - 13 year's old; wants to play varsity basketball and x-country in high school; he would like to serve a mission and would like to stay in North America and speak Spanish or English; Tyler would love to get a scholarship to play basketball at the "best college;" he would like to be a medical trainer or physical therapist; Tyler would like to get married at age 22; he wants "at most 4 or 5 kids unless his wife wants lots of kids he would be willing to do it for her unless it goes to more than like 7 or 8;" Tyler wants to name his kids Mykela, Brian, and Payton; Tyler's bucket list includes: go to some exotic place before he goes on his mission, go back country skiing or snowboarding, get married in the temple, get the Melchizedek priesthood, love my family and kid, and live in the celestial kingdom.

Alysee - 11 year's old; "In college I want to study to for a veterinarian.  I want to go to BYU- Hawaii. When I get married, I want my husband to be just right.  I want him to be cute, funny, and able to work with kids, and a hard worker.  I know that a husband needs to have good qualities to help out with the family.  I want my wedding to be grand, but also quiet.  I will invite friends and family but I don't want millions of people.  I will want to get married in the Salt Lake City temple or the Columbia River Temple.  I don't know where I want to go on my honeymoon, maybe Hawaii, London, Paris, or New York.  I will not have a job after I have children because I believe I should be cleaning, cooking, and caring for my children.  My husband will have a job, though.  A job that pays good money.  I want to have five children (two girls and three boys).  My girl's names will be Lexas, Macy, Chelsie, or Olivia.  My boy's names will be Mark, Justine, or Dillan.  I definitely want to have pets (three dogs and one cat).  One of my dogs will be a golden retriever and the other will be a pug and then a beagle.  I will name my cat Lemonade.  The pug will be an indoor dog, the retriever will be an outdoor, and the beagle will be both.  When all my kids are in school and my husband is at work or working at home, I will be cleaning the house.  When my kids get home from school I will have a snack ready for them every day I'm home.  Carrots, sliced apples, maybe crackers, and occasionally cookies and milk.  Somedays they will have juice.  Most days just water.  Then they will do their few daily jobs.  Most days they will have an hour of homework and a hour of playing outside.  We will have dinner at 6:00 pm. Bedtime will be at 8:00 pm.  For my oldest child, bedtime is at 8:30 or 9:00 pm.  My bucket list includes: marrying an awesome husband, visit Paris, go on a mission, go to a Taylor Swift concert and get a shirt signed by her, go to a One Direction concert, shake President Monson's hand, have a vision of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and Joseph Smith, have one year of no stomach aches, ride the subway in NYC, and never get cancer.  This is my Life Plan."

Nathan - 9 year's old; would love to play football, basketball, and soccer in high school and college; plans on serving a mission when he is 18 year's old to Portugal or Arizona; he would like to play a sport in college and go to Oregon State University; Nate would like to get "married to a cute girl;" he wants five kids (3 girls and 2 boys--named Lexus, Rachel, Emma, Jackson, and Steven); he would like to be a physical therapist or dentist or pro-football player; Nate's bucket list includes: ski diving, go to Texas, go to a Beavers Football game, see the Oregon Duck's lose, make his own go-cart, and drive a motorcycle.

Cooper - 7 year's old; plans on playing baseball and football in high school; Coop says he will get good grades - all A's in classes all year but "probably a couple of F's too;" he wants to go on a mission to Brazil or Asia and do "two or more years of good missionarying and I want to make at least twenty people join the church and get baptized.  I want my missionary tag to have a Beaver shark and say, 'Elder Ditto;'" Coop wants to study to be a physical therapist or paleontologist, although he'll "probably turn out to be a physical therapist;" he wants to get married when he is "about 26 or maybe like 25 or 23 years old;" Coop wants to get married in the Salt Lake City temple or Hawaii temple; he would love to have seven kids (4 girls and 3 boys named Steven, Cody, Jackson, Stella, Sara, Maya, Addison); When I asked Coop about his bucket list he said, "I don't think about that too much at all.  I'm only seven." As he thought about it he said his bucket list includes: a family reunion, going to Egypt, go to South Africa, and make a movie that could be in the Redbox.

Chloe - 5 year's old; she would like to play volleyball when she get's bigger; Chloe would like to "learn about being a know someone who takes care of animals;" she wants to go on a mission to Oregon so she can see Ami and Poppi; Chloe would like to go to college in Yakima so she can visit her mom and dad a lot; she definitely wants to get married to someone with brown hair, blue eyes, no freckles, and no fat;  Chloe wants to have 7 kids (3 girls and 4 boys) named Elizabeth and Jackson; her bucket list includes: go to shaved ice, have ice cream, spend time with family, say a prayer, "buy candy so I can have it in my pocket when I die."
Sure do love my kiddos and I'm so proud of their aspirations!!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

She drives me crazy, Uh uh, Like no-one else...

How can someone so cute drive me so crazy at the same time? Almost every morning I think I'm going to pull all my hair out. "My underwear doesn't feel good, the stitching in the back of my pants is crooked, my ponytail feels weird, my tennis shoes are too hot, the shirt is too tight on my arms..." It feels like a marathon...if I can just get her to school dressed we both might survive.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Great Anticipated Sheep Lake Exhibition

Alex logged in some more hours behind the wheel as he drove the boys to Sheep Lake for their annual backpacking trip.
 There were mixed emotions in this year's trip.  With the Coxes flying the coop to Utah, the whole trip kind of changed dynamics.  The boys actually really wanted to go someplace different as Sheep Lake has so many memories attached to it with Mark and the Cox boys.  Birch wasn't able to find another location that was as close and would work for the various muscle masses.  Even with the changes the boys were still so excited, especially because Birch took off work early so they all got to get out of school a bit early as well.
 Can't hike by the "jerky log" without eating some in memory of Mark Cox.
 Coop is our handstand maniac.
 Nate and Coop...mountain goats
 The boys were super excited when they found the burn band had been lifted and they could carry on their favorite tradition of grilled Starbursts.
 The next morning Nate took on the task of filtering everybody's water.  Birch says he was a champ!
 In honor of Caleb Cox the boys all wanted to pose with these "Dr. Seuss" like plants.  I guess Caleb was totally into them last year.
 Handsome boys - Alex, Tyler, Birch, Nate, and Coop
 Nate doing a handstand near Bear Gap.
 Birch said that Coop was on fire the whole trip.  He had been waiting for so long to go to Sheep Lake and his patience for any activity was almost zilch because he couldn't wait to do the next thing. Having gone last year he knew all the cool things that were ahead for them to do. 
 Pretty awesome Daddy to keep this tradition going!
 Not lacking in self-confidence at the Ditto house.
 Alex braving Sheep Lake.
 Nate found a log to float around on.
Coop joining the Pioneer Club!
Boo hoo!  Time to hike home.  The boys all had a terrific time and the weather was awesome!  This is one tradition the boys will never let die!

Friday, September 13, 2013


Oral Surgery day for this brave girl! She was nervous about waking up during the surgery but the doc has reassured her that he will keep her comfortable and sleepy during the whole procedure. She had had two canines exposed and then the doctor attached a chain to those teeth which will then be attached to her braces band to slowly pull up the two canines that are flopped over. Good times ahead!

 This procedure was actually done on her lower jaw but this is the main idea.  The oral surgeon cut open her gums all along her bottom jaw and then glued a bracket and gold chain on the canine and then stitched her up.  Over the next several months the chain will be shortened and by applying the pressure on the impacted canine it will help it erupt.
Alysee has been in a lot of pain but has been really brave! 
While the boys are camping at Sheep Lake we plan on spending the whole weekend watching the five disk series of "Anne of Green Gables" and eating ice cream, mashed potatoes, and pudding!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Daddy's Gone...let's go camping

I'm positive that I have never thought, "Hum...I think while Birch is at ABH with his brothers it would be fun to take the kids camping by myself."  BUT...this year our ward campout fell on the same weekend that Birch was going to be gone.  It's been seven years or so since we have actually been in town for the church campout and so I was determined to make it happen.  If it wasn't for the option of renting a cabin I wouldn't have even considered it. 

I'm still going to plead SUPERHERO MOM for the weekend just because I still think I am cool that I loaded up the kids in the pouring rain and headed to the dark forest without our Daddy.  We dined on microwave Hawaiian Rice Bowls from Costco.  We all had a fabulous time and the rain let up for most of the time.  The cabin was warm and cozy and we all slept fabulously.  We had a great "fireside" around the fireless firepit (due to the burn ban) and the kids loved running around with their friends.  It sure was awesome to have the young men prepare a delicious breakfast for us all in the morning.
Daddy had the good camera on his ABH trip so we resorted to documenting our campout with Alex's iTouch. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

ABH 2013 - Seven Devils

Special Guest Post from Birch
September 5-7.  Another great ABH this year...near Riggins, ID.  Vaughn planned a sweet trip in the Seven Devils Wilderness near Hells Canyon.  24 miles over three days with spectacular views.
Brent, Logan, Kelly and I met in Lewiston, ID, then drove to Riggins early Thursday morning. 

The first day was wet!  We had expected rain, so were prepared.  I wasn't prepared for this, however.  My boots bit the dust.  The entire sole came off of both boots!  They served me well for 17 years over many miles and mountains.  We gave them a proper burial.  Gratefully, Kelly gave me his Keene sandals for the rest of the trip.  Thanks Kel!

Four of the Seven Devils in the background
A sweet night at the lake...after a big rain.
Gettin' creative with the flashlights!
Friday morning we summited He Devil, the highest peak of the Seven Devils (elev 9,400').
Kelly on the way to He Devil summit.
Sweet views from the top of He Devil.  The lake between my legs is Gem Lake, where we camped the night before.
He Devil behind us.  We can't resist the acrobatics!
Logan and Julia made these hankies for all of us.  A useful and appreciated accoutrement.
On Friday afternoon we hooked up with Vaughn and Andrew, who drove up from Boise.  It was great to have them join us!
A little meditation at high altitude is good for the soul.

Saturday morning we watched the sun rise from a lookout at Dry Diggins, overlooking Hells Canyon and the Snake River.  Pretty spectacular.
He Devil (on right) from the Dry Diggins lookout.
Sunset over a mountain lake.  These quiet and spectacular moments cause me to feel gratitude for our Creator.
Nothing like instant oatmeal in the morning.  Peaches and Cream, baby!
Hells Canyon in the background.
As is our custom, we sang a few hymns at the top of the lookout.
We had a hot fire going before we jumped into the lake.
That was some cold water!
Kelly and I had these shirts made to remember the great event.
On the way home!  A long and arduous climb back to the car (down the valley and then up the other side of the peak behind me).
Celebrating the end of the trail!
I feel so much love and admiration for my brothers.  They are all successful, faithful, fun and committed men.  I love spending time with them.  Ryan, you better not miss another ABH!
No wilderness adventure is complete without a hearty and greasy burger at the end!  Summervilles Cafe in Riggins did not disappoint!  Long Live ABH!!