Monday, July 26, 2010


My very talented photographer friend ( came across a new must-have prop when she went antique shopping. She wanted to give it a test run - she just needed a cute-one-year-old-boy to fit inside...hey! I have one of those! I think it turned out perfect, even if he wouldn't smile.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

We're Back

I don't know where the last 3 months went...mostly baseball is to blame. But for anyone who really follows my blog - rest assured I haven't gone permanently missing (like some people we know - jyl - not to mention any names). But now that we're not spending every night of the week eating dinner out of a bag, spitting (or swallowing as my little ones do) sunflower seeds, and cheering on our older two ball players - I actually think I miss it! - and I actually have enough time to download pictures off my camera and blog. Because I like to slurp my blog into a book at the end of the year (my version of scrapbooking) I have posted the things we've been up to (besides baseball) in seperate posts. So keep scrolling down a ways! You even have to click "older posts" to get to page 2! And don't worry, I'll post end-of-season baseball pictures shorlty after the end-of-season parties are wrapped up! Now we're enjoying long summer days swimming at grammy's, working in the yard and soaking in summer - until football starts the second week of Aug! Welcome to my world.

4th of July at Black Butte

After months of baseball and a slew of cold, wet weather, we joined my sister and her family in a trip to Black Butte to finally kick off the summer. We didn't include a whole lot of patriotic celebration (some BBQing a a little lesson in the hottub about our amazing country), but managed a lot of biking, swimming, tennis and relaxing - what we do best at Black Butte Ranch. The older kids loved that we let them go do some activities themselves - kids becoming independent can be a great thing! Besides Luke getting sick, we had a great time with our raggedy bunch.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Stake Youth Trek

Bart and I got a little taste of the rough outdoors as we joined the youth from our church on a Pioneer Handcart Trek. After 3 days of pulling our belongings a total of 18 miles and sleeping under the stars, I can truly say that my appreciation and adoration for my pioneer ancestors has grown tremendously. As did my faith and hope in the next generation - the youth on the trek were amazing! I have never been so impressed with a group of teenagers! They never complained and took on every challenge each day with gusto and spirit. We saw some amazing scenery and ate incredible food (which was the only part of the trek not very realistic - we had a fleet (literally) of cooks who made delicious homemade gourmet food for the group of 350 in an self-constructed outdoor kitchen (water hauled in and everything) - you had to see it to believe it.) Walking mile after mile on the dusty trails in the hot sun gives you a great opportunity to think long and hard about life - I was reminded after this experience about how simple life can be to still be joyous and fulfilling. I have SO MUCH. And because of this experience, I now feel I have so much more.

Me and my cowboy

Our adult cart

The youth were divided into groups of 8-10 per handcart with one girl and one boy per handcart acting as a "ma" and "pa" to simulate family life along the trail. The leaders were bringing up the rear with our adult handcart - which consisted of an amazing group of people I now consider great friends.

There were moments that felt all too real along the trek - like here where one of our wheels buckled (far from anywhere that a car with tools could get to us). So we did it the pioneer way with our homemade "jack" and using pieces of wood off the side of our handcart to reinforce the wheel. With a lot of care (and prayer) our handcart made it through the final day still in one piece!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Great Grandma

One of God's tender mercies found it's way to us recently. It helped us remember what really matters most and gave us a sweet opportunity to enjoy the love that exists in families.

After years of suggesting and asking, my 90 year old grandma finally moved to Portland 8 months ago to be closer to us - her family. She lived alone in an apartment in a retirement home and all of us grandkids and greatgrandkids had the occasion to visit or talk to her much more frequently than years prior. She had been doing quite well for her age, and then we all noticed her beginning to grow weaker and frailer - just about the time my parents were scheduled to leave on a 2 week trip to Europe. Wanting to put my parents at ease while they were away, my sibling and I made a schedule and the once frequent visits turned to often and then to daily. Pretty soon those daily visits involved helping her with every task of daily living. We could tell that her time on earth was drawing to a close. And as her need for help grew more and more, our love for her did too. My parents made it home in time to see her through her last weeks, but honestly, I am grateful for their time away. It required me to step out of my "busy" life for a while and just serve. And that serving was my tender mercy - those hours of cooking, dressing, cleaning for and helping grandma to bed were some of my hours best spent in my life this far. Serving someone out of love truly does lift you and strengthen you. In a matter of days after my parents return from Europe, she fell into a deep sleep and never awoke. I love this lady. I am grateful for the chance to serve her and have that love deepen. I am grateful for the fond moments I can reflect upon while I wait to see her again someday.

We had some precious moments with her during her last few days.

We took the trip to the Tri-Cities to hold a funeral for her and it was touching to see our children look at Great-grandma during the viewing with smiles and good memories in their hearts.

Her passing helped refine even more the love that I have for all the wonderful people in my life.My amazing Father - I just LOVE him.

My mother is LOVE personified. No one does it better then she does.

My brother gave a beautiful graveside prayer.

Do cousins get any cuter than this?

Bo always pays attention to the little things

Luke just like attention period

Cole is our typical boy - being too rough with the flower, now he has to find a way to get the top back on!

We love you Great Grandma. Thank you for moving closer, even if it wasn't your favorite idea. Thank you for letting us be near you and love you. It has truly blessed us far more then we probably blessed you. We miss you.

Tyler's Baptism

Tyler was very excited to get baptized and had a very special day. His grandparents from Florida and Aunt & Uncle from Tacoma even made a trip to Oregon to be there for him. After a morning of baseball games, we switched gears and prepared for his big event. The baptism service was memorable as the power went out in the church half-way through. It was very nice, even in the dark! A day we hope he will always remember.

After the baptism we had a fun and roudy (always) family lunch at Grammy and Papa's. The perfect end to a perfect day.

We love you Tyler and are very proud of your choice to follow our Savior.

Happy 8th Birthday Tyler

Tyler turned the BIG 8! It is a pretty big birthday at our house since it is the age to get baptized in our church and start cubscouts. This kid just loves any reason to party. So party we did.

We took him a happy meal for lunch at school and cupcakes to share with his friends. Then had a blast at Pump It Up with a huge group of his buddies later in the evening.

Luke wanted in on the action!

It was a great party (and no hassle or clean-up for mom! My birthday present to myself!) with all his favorites - friends, pizza, ice cream, and lots of love and attention!

Getting Crafty

My little sister is really crafty and sometimes she lets me in on a fun project. We had both been wanting to make a birthday banner - so we did some blog surfing to find the perfect design to "copy", took a stressful trip to the fabric store together (aren't all trips to the fabric store with kids stressful?), and found an afternoon to craft away.

This was the final product! We were pretty tickled with ourselves. And just in time for a birthday. Oh - what do you know? MINE! And my Ty who I share a birthday with! We just might keep going and make a slew of them for every occasion.

Weekend - Cougar style

Half of our crew headed to Provo, UT and celebrated Memorial Day weekend cougar-style. We had heard about the BYU Fathers & Sons basketball camp being great - so Bart and our oldest two set out to decide for themselves. ZERO disappointments! They spent 4 days sleeping in the dorms, eating in the Cannon Center, meeting new friends from all over the country and playing every kind of sport imaginable. They have decided that not only is this camp worth two thumbs up, but that it will become a Dickson family tradition every year. (In 7 years when Luke is old enough to join in...that works out to be a good deal for mom. A weekend all to herself! Of course I'm supporting this new tradition.)

An early morning in the cafeteria fueling up for a day of playing

Tyler gets some one-on-one time with Jimmer Fredette

When mom's away...the boys will play! A late night trip to DQ for treats

BYU does everything top notch - so the boys enjoyed a top notch Sabbath with a special sacrament meeting with L. Tom Perry, walk around Temple Square and BBQ lunch at This Is The Place State Park