Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Arrow of Light and Derby Time

January's pack meeting was a pretty special one for Coop.  He was awarded his Arrow of Light which is the highest award you can earn as a cub scout.  Coop is counting down the days until he will be a Boy Scout.

My necklace of cub and boy scout pins is getting quite full and heavy.  I won't lie...kind of counting down the days until we are done with scouting.

Proud parents

Coop also earned his First Responder and Aquanaut pin.

Just gotta earn that Webelos badge and his shirt will be complete!

Our last pinewood derby - that would be twelve cars that have been made by Ditto boys and their dad.
Coop kind of put off finishing his car until the last minute.  He always has such grand ideas in his head and then worries about if his drawings on paper can actually turn into a real racing car.  Here he is getting ready to put his car on the track for the first time.

Coop vs his good buddy, Connor

Coop's car is on the far right

Can you guess the results?...Connor won.  Coop took it like a man but was obviously disappointed.  The boys only got to race their cars twice so Coop was pretty bummed to not see his car's full potential.  

Being a good sport

At least trying to...

That's a wrap...another chapter closing at the Ditto house!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Packed into the Week

Sometimes when it gets to Sunday night and I think back over the past week I am amazed at how much we pack in.  Too bad I didn't take more pictures to fully represent the week.  In fact, Nate had an awesome ensemble band concert and I totally forgot to bring my camera.  He really is a great french horner player!

It has been years since Chloe has taken Gymnastic's lessons.  She has been BEGGING for the past year+ to take lessons.  I finally found a more reasonable method for her to take lessons for a couple of months.  So Tuesday is probably her favorite day of the week!!! 

She really is a talented gymnast and has taught herself so much on her own.

Bars are her favorite!

Lots of strength training and sore muscles the day following her class.

Pinewood Derby Preps!!!

Cooper has been working hard on his Pinewood Derby car.  He has all sorts of ideas in his noggin' - hopefully he can be pleased with his car when he races this next week.

Coop also bought this Romanian patch and had me sew it on his new hat that Tyler gave him for Christmas.  He thinks about his big brother serving in Romania all the day!

National History Day!!!  YUCK! 
Nate has been working like a mad man on his National History Day paper.  He has been so diligent researching and working a bit on his paper every day.  His topic is Gail Halverson:  The Candy Bomber and his role is helping avoid WW III.  

Elder Randal Day's Funeral

The past two weeks have been so challenging as our family has been heartbroken for the Day family and Alex.  Alex wrote a beautiful letter about his love for the Day family and his experience upon learning Elder Day had passed away while serving in Arad.  We love Elder and Sister Day not only for their service they have been giving Romania since arriving in August but also because they have been surrogate grandparents for the young missionaries.  They have fed, entertained, mentored, taught, and loved Alex.  For that we LOVE the Days!!

MTC August 2016 - Sister and Elder Day

Alex following Elder Day's passing was able to spend the next four days comforting and supporting Sister Day as she made preparations for returning to Vancouver, WA.

It was our privilege to attend Elder Randy Day's funeral on Saturday.  Just to think Sis. Day had been hugging Elder Ditto a few days prior made this moment kind of surreal.  We were also able to watch the memorial service that was done last Saturday in Arad through a shared video file.  What a treat to see Elder Ditto conduct the music and sing in the service!  

Even though we had never met Sister Day, I felt like we were friends.  I've been reading her blog since Alex arrived in Arad and so I kind of felt like I already knew her.  We immediately embraced and both Birch and I were able to express our love for her and her husband.  

Another crazy and wonderful thing was meeting another Sister Roberts' parents.  She and her companion are serving in Arad right now and through facebook we connected this past week.  They live in Bend, OR and so they were able to come to the funeral as well.

Lastly, we are pretty sure that a package from our heart has finally been delivered to Alex.  A few weeks ago when Elder Day wrote me an email and said that Alex was having a tough time we decided to put together a package.  This package will really only be meaningful to Alex as it has a Cool Running theme.  We prayed over this package when DHL picked it up as it was super expensive to send but even more importantly because we knew Alex needed a pick-me-up.  It was sent to the Day's home in Arad and was supposed to arrive the day that Elder Day passed away.  From there I spent hours on the phone with Romania DHL trying to have the package delivered to a sweet Romanian sister that I connected with via facebook.  Due to customs regulations the package was not delivered for almost another seven days.  They day I got an email saying the package was "out for delivery" brought tears to my eyes.  As Birch said, "I feel like you prayed as it everything depended on the Lord, and worked as if everything depended on you."

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Tyler kicks up his heels - Winter Formal 2017

Tyler has been counting down the days until Winter Formal.  Back in December Tyler asked the beautiful Savannah Kimzy to be his date.  He was super nervous and enlisted Uncle Luke and Chloe's help to asking Savannah.  After a little brainstorming we came up with a creative way for him to ask her.

Parker Barduhn, Tyler, Alex Carlson, and Steven Dray -- their lovely dates, Courtney, Savannah Kimzy, Lindsay Sheffield, and Emily Black

Tyler and Savannah

We offered to host the dinner for the group.  We served candied chicken, corn, rice, rolls, pineapple and drinks.  

They all seemed to have such a great time.  Birch put our conversation starters on the table for them but honestly I don't think there was one quiet moment.  They were all laughing the entire evening.

Tyler said the dance was super fun (and not even much dirty dancing).  After the dance they went to Savannah's house to go hot tubing.  How did Tyler get old enough to date??

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Over the woods to Grandma and Grandpa's house

Our next stop in Oregon was to Corvallis to spend a wonderful one and a half days with my parents.  We were lucky to overlap with Grandma Howe for dinner the first night.  My mom and dad always go out of the way to make us feel welcomed and at home.

We've always loved to bowl as a family as it works so well for so many ages.  This was no exception!
Chloe was super expressive with her emotions!

Poppi has always been the master bowler

We were lucky to spend some time with Uncle Seth, cousin Cali and Tommy.  Sadly, Caroline and Willie were sick so we never got a full round of Sherry Jr. hugs.

Momma bowls


Cali the bubble blower




We also enjoyed several hours at the Oregon State Dixon Rec Center.
Tommy showing his stuff bouldering.

Pickle ball


Nate bouldering


Last stop was the indoor pool.  Coop was loving the diving board.

Chloe has a killer dive - even off of the diving board.

Coop and his famous swan dive.

Ahhh....hot tubbing

We even enjoyed a bit of sunshine!  Coop loves Ami and Poppi's tire swing.

Sure do love my momma and poppi!