Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Old Christmas lists fulfilled...
Christmas dinner, complete with Christmas Crackers....
Crowns from our Crackers.....
The Heelys that almost did not arrive in time for the big day.....
Opening stockings....
Four happy kids. It was a good year.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Family Party 2010

My mom began having us out for Christmas Eve...years ago. I can't remember exactly the year? Jill was a baby. Anyway. All 5 of us siblings and our kids would go to the parents house, eat dinner, my dad would dress up in a Santa suit that my mom made, and give out the presents from them. We usually got Grandma Tussey for Christmas too, so she would be there. The year mom died, determined in our paralyzing grief to carry on the tradition, my oldest brother had us all out to his house for the party. We brought our own Santa gift for our kids, and so began a new era of the Christmas Eve Party. He and his fabulous wife have hosted us for 12 years in a row now.
Somewhere along the line, it became a tradition for the last Santa Sitting to occur the year you graduate high school. If you're over 18, you won't be sitting on the big guys lap. So we only had 2 kids to gift this year. Ryan's Santa gift: a cookbook.
Grace's Santa gift: Club Penguin swag.
Tyler singing his annual rendition of a song that he makes up...he changes lyrics to reflect what is going on in each family's life that year...this year's version was fabulous.
Our annual game of air hockey. I lose EVERY year. I did give him a run for his money for the first 10 minutes or so.....then crashed and burned. Good times!
I love my family. As we get older, and the kids get older, and some us have moved out of Utah, or may be moving out of Utah, it's possible that this tradition may morph again. Maybe to a different day, or a different place. But I think we'll always get together, visit, and honor our parents by continuing to weave the fabric of our family.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I am in the annual throes of "Oh-my-heck-I'm-never-going-to-get-everything-done-before-Christmas-and-it-has-to-be-PERFECT for each child-I'm-freaking out and exhausted!"
Good times. I had to go and have not one, but TWO December children. Add strep x 3 of us so far, and it's been a super-special week.
Then I read this today. Read, and carry on, with hope :)

"Our responsibility is to rise from mediocrity to competence, from failure to achievement. Our task is to become our best selves. One of God’s greatest gifts to us is the joy of trying again, for no failure ever need be final." (Thomas S. Monson, "Never Give Up", New Era, Sept. 1994)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

11:58 AM

TWENTY-ONE years ago today, at 11:58 AM, we welcomed our firstborn into the world. Beautiful Jillian Shae Ditty...did you know that her name means "downy-haired child from the faerie fort"? Yep.

I don't have many pictures of her early life scanned. So this is what you get today.
Beautiful Jillian. She has been a delight from minute one...except for the emergency c-section. But after that, she has brought joy into our lives daily. She is kind, caring, nurturing, hard-working, musically talented, and funny. She is my firstborn, my much longed for daughter, my confidant, my partner-in-crime, my best friend. I love her more every day.
She got clothes, a pair of much-needed shoes, and a copy of Beauty and the Beast for her birthday. We have spent the day at church, playing duets on the piano, watching the above mentioned DVD, and playing Skip-Bo. It was a good day.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Grace turns 9

Grace's birthday celebrations began on Saturday at Incredible Pizza with family, and best friend Brynlie. We bowled...
Played Dance Revolution, skee-ball, and other games....
Ate, and got prizes! Super fun place to party.
Her actual birthday was on a Sunday. We had to wake her up exactly at 9:00 AM...on her 9th birthday....(don't judge...it's Sunday and she stayed up really late last night!)
She didn't want cake. She wanted (and got) a cream cheese brownie from Kneaders.
Making a wish...
Hugs from the person who made her.
I scrolled back and tried to see if I've blogged about her birth. I sort of did on her 7th birthday. So I won't bore you again with the "miracle of joy" story. But here are 9 things I love about our Grace:
1. She never leaves a room without saying "I love you."
2. She has a kind heart.
3. She's great fun to see movies with.
4. She has a fabulous sense of humor...she keeps us laughing.
5. She is a good, true, and loyal friend.
6. She is always quick to say "I'm sorry."
7. She reminds us of the simple joys in life.
8. She loves to make cards and letters for everyone.
9. She LOVES shoes!!!

It's hard sometimes being the youngest in a house full of adults. Our Grace keeps us all young-at-heart, and is so patient with us. Thank you, baby, for being one of my best friends. I love you more and more every day. Happy 9th Birthday!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


My boy turned 17 today. His posted his facebook status this morning before he even rolled out of bed: "Now I can legally use magic!"
The truth is, he has BEEN magic for me since the moment he drew breath. I love everything about him. He has a special place in my heart; unconditionally and forever.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I loathe sewing. Detest it. My mom was a BIG sewer...we always had matching polyester jumpsuits, t-shirts, dresses...you get the idea. She even made American Girl doll dresses for a huge family of dolls that she gifted to Jillian and her cousins. And we made the girls matching Christmas and Easter dresses every year. My job was cutting stuff out and ironing while she sewed. We made a great team! She made me learn how to sew, but I only choose to sew things that involve nothing but straight seams.
Anyway. I digress. Something always goes wrong when I attempt to sew; tension, bobbin, needle breaking...I have a basic, bottom of the line machine that's about 15 years old.
The problem with this is that I always WANT stuff that can be sewn. I can never find curtains that I like in the stores. So I sew them.
This is the project that I undertook a couple of weeks ago. New bedroom curtains. I adore toile...I would wrap my entire house in it if I could. I'm well on my way to that actually.
Notice the little brown puffball trim...that was seriously hard to attach! I also made a big toile pillow for the bed :)

Friday, November 12, 2010


It's taken me a week to be able to post about this latest development...
Last Sunday I was released as our Primary Chorister. Sad, sad day. Almost four years is a long time to be in any calling.... I had four programs to pull off. And I added it up: I taught them over 70 songs! I had a couple of kids cry after Sacrament Meeting, a couple of them wrote me sweet notes and drew pictures. I love those kids so much...Primary is where it's at. They love you unconditionally, but don't give any mercy if you're boring or phoning it in....

Anyway. Onward I guess. I was called to be the Relief Society secretary....so I'll still have something to do. I have not attended Relief Society for EIGHT years. I must say I'm not especially looking forward to it. But I've already noticed that I have MUCH more time on my hands during the week. It's weird to not have half of my mind always on the songs, ideas of how to make it fun, always on the lookout at the store of things to use as props etc....and the ever-present what-am-I-going-to-do-this-Sunday-thing!
Perhaps I'll pick up one of my old hobbies...it's been YEARS since I've scrapbooked!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Magic Of KSL.com

A few minutes ago, Grace came to me and said, "Mom you should blog about my new bed." I handed her the camera and she took all of these pictures.

Jillian and Grace shared a room for about 3 years...when Grace was 4 she moved out of our room (let's be honest...bed...I know. Sorry) and was super excited to have a bunk-bed with Jill. She's been in the room alone now for, oh, about 2 1/2 years. We really don't need the bunk-bed. It was taking up tons of space in an already small room. Last weekend, I decided to post it on KSL.com before I went to bed on Friday night. I had it sold, taken apart, and carted away by 8:30A.M. the next morning. Seriously.
With a wad of cash in my hand, off to Shopko we raced to purchase this fantastic captain's bed...complete with headboard and extra drawer space!
Huge thanks to My Ty who was home for the weekend. He took apart the bunk-bed, went shopping with me, helped cart the new bed inside and spent a couple of hours putting it together. Thanks to Andrew too, who rolls along good-naturedly with my wild-hairs and helped with the assembly as well.
Now if I could only manage to train her to make her bed and keep her room clean....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Mermaid and Best Brother Ever

Another Halloween come and gone. For the first time IN HER LIFE Gracie has not had a brand-new costume from the GYMBOREE...complete with matching tights and accessories....she wore the same mermaid costume Jill wore when she was in 3rd grade...
It rained. Ryan arranged for Grace to go with him and a group of his movie-theatre friends to their ward's trunk-or-treat...in Alpine. S.C.O.R.E.
They left at 5pm...and got home at 9pm. Seriously. They went to the trunk-or-treat, then Ry drove through the rain house to house depositing them at the doorways of enormous mansions that gave out full-size candy bars.
Grace highly recommends begging for loot on the east side. I'm not sure she'll ever be able to go back to trick-or-treating in our neighborhood.
AND best brother ever award again to my Ryan.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Ryan hates carving pumpkins...
Gracie loves it.
Finished product. Points for anyone who can name the pumpkin in the middle....and guess who carved it....
And I apologize in advance....but yes, Snick DOES have a bumblebee costume on.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Our first Show Choir concert of the year!
Ryan is in Encore...they did the numbers "Thriller" and "Zombie Jamboree".
Ryan sang and shook his bootee...it was fantastic! Andrew did a fabulous job of taking some video...I'll try to post one tomorrow (mostly for Tyler who is away and would just L.O.V.E. to see it and I'm sure would have some amazing zingers to fling at Ry :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

10 This and That's

1. My garage got cleaned this weekend! BIG trip to the dump...and a wonderful feeling to be able to walk out there without incurring a metatarsal fracture or a bruised shin.
2. My Ryan made me a mixed CD including some of my favorite songs...and a few that he just thought I'd like. I mentioned last month a song that my mom used to sing to me...he searched for it and included it. Thanks my boy. You are a gift.
3. Jillian has had a little bit of a cold. Gracie apparently asked Jill to breathe on her so she would get sick and not have to go to school.
3a. Note to self: dig out our copy of "The Great Brain" by John D. Fitzgerald and read it to Grace.
4. Spent a wonderful morning at the temple last week with my oldest brother, two of my kids, and my niece. Began work for my Grandma, Grandpa, and some of their siblings. It was something my mom always wanted done. It was a good day.
5. Sunday is probably going to be my last Primary program for a while...I'm assuming I'm about to be released. This will be the 4th in a row this time around. I'm doing my best to savor every minute with these kids (my Gracie is one of them!) and enjoy this weekend. I love them so much. I don't know how I'm going to be able to stand going to Relief Society after an 8 year absence....sigh.
6. Still haven't found my camera memory chip. Guess I'll kiss THOSE memories goodbye and go buy a new one.
7. On my way now to purchase the new Sugarland CD...I love the single and hope the album is good!
8. Grateful for a husband who knows how to fix stuff...he's outside looking at Ry's brakes and will undoubtedly repair them post-haste.
9. Just beginning to hear the start of the "I hate math" river of tears...good times.
10. Fall is my favorite time of year. Soup, socks, cuddly blankets, baking, anything pumpkin. It's all good!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fall Fun

Fall Break! No work or school for 5 whole days! Ryan got us free tickets to Cornbelly's since he's been working there all month...
Ty is home for the weekend and was nice enough to carve out some time to hang with us this afternoon...such handsome boys!
Grace and her best friends being silly...
A happy mom with all of her kids to herself for a day...little to they know that the rest of the weekend is hopefully going to be filled with CLEANING, ORGANIZING, and a trip to the DUMP! Muah hahaha....

Sunday, September 26, 2010

List of Stuff

1. My husband is home. He had a fantastic time.
2. I'm still scared to drive in a car with him. He keeps listing to the left. Crazy Brits.
3. I still can't find my memory card.
4. Gracie started a hip-hop class this week. It is ADORABLE. I can't wait for the recital in May!
5. Went to visit Andrew's Auntie yesterday...it was so much fun. She and her husband are the absolute best fun to be around!
6. Went to the General Women's Conference meeting last night with my daughter. So fun! And I highly recommend Paradise Bakery...we had sammies and soup afterward. Yum.
7. Three more weeks until the Primary program...my fourth in a row this time around. I never thought I'd say this, but I L.O.V.E. my calling. After almost 4 years I have a feeling I may be released soon...I will miss it more than I can say.
8. Had all 4 kids at church with us today. It was a tiny slice of heaven. And very rare anymore.
9. Just realized that the kids and I have the SAME fall break from school! And we get free tickets to CornBelly's thanks to Ry's new job.
10. Family is everything. I love mine....my kids know they can call (let's be honest...text) their uncles or aunts or cousins anytime for anything. It's a beautiful thing.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


My darling husband had yet another dream come true today...he spent 2 hours at his favorite radio station watching (and listening) to his favorite radio personality, Geoff Lloyd, do the show in London.
He met Geoff, Annabelle, and Nelson.
The coolest thing is that we all (Jill, Ty, Ry, and me) watched it in REAL TIME on the web-cam! Geoff even said (imagine a British accent...) "Welcome to Andrew Ditty from Salt Lake City!"
I can't wait to download the podcast tomorrow and listen to the whole thing again.
And thanks to my fantastic boss who let me camp in her office on her computer to watch it!

On another note: Ryan just called me and has landed a second job. Had the interview at 6pm tonight and was hired on the spot.
It's a "seasonal" job just for October...but for a month he's going to be one busy guy. Like he isn't already!?
Good thing he's amazing, wonderful, motivated, and an all around great kid who I'm sure can handle the pressure and craziness. :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Healthy Again...

Gracie is finally better. Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts and concern for her!
Whew. I hate it when my kids are sick.

Andrew called me from Scotland this afternoon. He's having a ball, but can't manage to get internet service anywhere and can't upload pics. We're going to have a huge party in my family room when he gets back to view the (according to him) almost 300 pictures he's taken so far!
Let us know if you want to come...

It was a good day for me too...let's just say I have a fantastic boss ;)
AND a fantastic oldest daughter who cleaned the whole house today before I got home.
AND we're going to Cafe' Rio tonight for dinner...with my oldest brother whom I adore.

Life is beautiful :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010


It was suggested by my dearest Auntie Trixie that perhaps my darling husband took MY memory card on his vacation to Ireland.
After an exhaustive search of the house, and finding the new, empty, card he bought for the trip, I fear that she is correct. Oh well. I sincerely hope he is taking a million fantastic pictures of his trip :)
Andrew has sent me 3 pictures though. Two of them are above. Clearly you can see where his priorities are! Candy and Countryside...hee.
For those of you who are hoping to vacation vicariously through the blog, though; sorry. I won't be talking about their trip on the blog.
I am very thrilled that he's had this opportunity...it was a dream come true...made possible in part by his dad. I'm so happy that he's living a longed for wish! If you're into Absolute Radio, watch the live feed online on Thursday morning...my beloved will hopefully be visiting the London studio to meet his favorite radio personality, Geoff Lloyd. It's supposed to be live at around 11:00AM our time...I SO hope it works out for him and he gets to meet Geoff, Annabelle, and Nelson!
Funnily enough, he's been out of the country for 4 days now, and we've hardly noticed. He's been AWOL from the family for about 6 months obsessively planning for this trip. I, for one, will be glad when it's over and we're back to regular life; boring as it may be.
Sorry if this post sounds grouchy. Clearly, I'm not in the best mood. I'm worried about my Gracie...she's been feverish and throwing up for 2 days now. I've spent 1/2 the time holding her hair back while she throws up, and scrubbing down every available surface in a desperate attempt at keeping the rest of us healthy. (Oh, and Jill took a turn at the hair holding while I was at the store buying 7-up and Tylenol..thanks Jill!)
There you have it. Sometimes real-life invades the blog-post. I do try to stay happy and positive in this venue, but life is not always that way is it? {whistling and walking away to apply the much-needed-muzzle}

Missing memory card

I was GOING to post pictures of the fun cabin trip my siblings and all of our kids had last weekend. Someone took the memory card out of my camera and I cannot find it. I'm very angry.
Anyway. For the first time ever, we ALL went to the cabin and stayed over night. We've all gone up there together for the day to work, repair, and clean. But I suggested that we could pitch tents for the kids, have the adults sleep inside, and all stay over night together. It was a great idea! We had SO much fun sitting around the fire talking and laughing. The kids had a blast on the zip line, hiking, roasting marshmallows, and playing together. It was a little chilly at night, but still a great time. It was mentioned that we should make it a tradition. Yay!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Random and Rambling

I miss my Ty.
He apparently texted Ryan this afternoon, simply to say that the Encore outfit made him look "like a gay lumberjack."
Hee. Nothing like the honest-love of a brother to make you feel fantastic :)
I miss his lightning quick wit though. He can make me laugh like no one else.
He has been super nice to text and call me every few days. I want to believe that it's partly because he misses me. But mostly I think he's just being kind....
He's doing great. So far seems to have met some nice people, gone to class, and (gasp) even studied a bit.

On another note: I got home from work today at 3pm-ish as usual. Was met by Grace in her jammies. (I usually get home just before she does.)
Apparently she decided at about noon that she had a stuffy nose and didn't want to be at school any more.
She called ANDREW.
WTF. (What The Fire)
That used to be my job! No one else would have EVER bothered dad at work. But then I guess that was when I was always home.
Sigh. When I was sputtering in speechlessness, all 3 kids said that they know that I have to punch in and out and don't want me to lose "hours." So they don't bug me with stuff like this anymore.
The baby is growing up in a different world. Entirely. And it's fine. I'm extremely happy at my job. But every once in a while things like this happen, and I have to sit and sniffle for a while.
Or maybe I'm just catching her "cold"...which BTW is not really even symptomatic, so feel free to picture me doing air quotes.
Rambling and random enough for you? (I partly blogged today because it's the last day of the month, and I've not been very good at blogging this summer. Silly, but I wanted there to be more posts this month. Forgive the self-indulgent nature of this, please.)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

In Which A Blue Slushee is Thrown?

School started this week. Ryan is in "Encore" our High School's version of "Glee". It's a show choir. It's the cool thing to do in our school, thankfully, since all 3 older kids have now been a part of it.
Typically, they have matching t-shirts for casual performances, and dresses/tuxes for their formal performance wear. Fine.
The above picture is Ry in his "Encore" issued casual wear for this year. {squint}
What happened to the t-shirt we were expecting? His teacher decided to put the boys in matching PURPLE PLAID shirts. The girls have neon purple cardigans.
Wow. I was giggling uncontrollably when I first beheld this shirt...trying to be supportive. It has actually grown on us, and doesn't seem as horrific as we first thought. The boy is being a great sport. He doesn't mind it. I guess it's more acceptable when the WHOLE group is dressed such.
But I can't help but wonder if a blue slushee is in his future....
(For those of you who don't get this reference; sad. Go rent the first season of Glee post-haste)

3rd and 11th

Grace's first day of 3rd Grade! BTW, she's holding one of two assignments that were done over the summer and DUE ON THE FIRST DAY.
Ry's first day of 11th Grade.
And his own wheels in which to travel to school...life is good.