Dickson Family

Dickson Family


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Reed's Track Meet

As a chronically overwhelmed person, I recently made what I hope is a life changing discovery. To be more (or at least to feel more) successful I need to set smaller goals. Not just small goals, but really small goals. There is nothing more discouraging then reflecting on all the amazing things you planned to do and didn't. Being an amazing and frequent family blogger is one of those amazing things I've been planning to do for a while now and have failed miserably at. It's been over a year since I wrote anything and much longer since I wrote regularly. I have grand plans, but those grand plans never seem to get off the ground--so I'm making an adjustment. I am removing the grand and replacing it with small. My goal is to complete this entire post. If these words made their way to our blog, then it's time to break out the ticker tape because I was successful. Hooray! Here's to more small successes in the future. 

(I know my last post was about a Reed event, but so is this one. I guess that's one of the perks of being the oldest.)

Last month Reed had the opportunity to participate in the district middle school track meet. The schools just  finished their track unit in P.E. and had a little track meet during class. The top two finishers in each event got to be apart of the big meet. Reed doesn't really have any track experience outside of  what he learned in P.E, but he didn't seem nervous about the event at all. (I, however made up for this by worrying the entire time I waited for his race to be called.)

We lucked out and the track meet happened to be scheduled on a day that both of my parents were already planning to be here. Not so lucky was the fact that it also happened to be the first really hot day of the year, so it was more than just my nerves that had us sweating it out as we waited.

Sometimes Ruby likes to be my photographer.  She's getting better. Most of my head made it into this one.

She's still working on her photography, but she's got her cheering all figured out.

Reed was running the 800, which was 2 times around the track. Without a lot of training I was worried he would burn out, but I'm happy to report that he was able to stay middle of the pack the whole time.

These pictures don't show it, but we had another enthusiastic cheerleader on the sidelines. "Go Reed!, Go Reed!"

 I think he felt pretty good about things when it was all over. Hot and tired, but good.

I love how Ruby is quick to love. After a 2-year absence it didn't take much time at all for her to cozy up with Grandfather.

After the race Reed saw a friend from his elementary school that was now attending a neighboring middle school. He made the effort to track him down and say hello. I think I was equally proud of his effort there as I was of his run.

It's always nice to have your brother cheering you on too.

As well as out-of-town supporters.

 I may look like a boy in this picture, but, for a picture with Reed, I will take it.

For a 6th grade track and field career that lasted all of two minutes, it was good one.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Spring Band Concert

I remember as a kid being a part of several large group performances and wondering if my parents sitting in the audience really cared about the seemingly insignificant part I played in such a large production.  I wondered if it was even possible in that type of setting to do something that would impress them and make them glad they were there. After Reed's Spring Band concert last week I don't need to wonder about that any more.

 Because of where I was sitting in the auditorium, I could literately only see the tops of Reed's shoes during most of the concert. The stage was filled with talented musicians from four different schools, but what I loved most were those two black shoes I could see tapping to the beat (three in on the back row). I didn't need to see his focused furrowed brow or his ready-to-burst cheeks as he played his trumpet to feel proud of the effort he has (almost completely on his own) put into practicing. I couldn't see his excited and nervous smile either, but I knowing how much he loves music and being apart of a production I knew it was there. I can't say I could even begin to pick out which trumpet sounds belonged to him (there were a surprising many!), but I do know that if I could of it would have sounded the most beautiful to me.

My headless boy, third from the end. No---that is not a very mature 5th grader on the end. One of the band teachers plays support on trumpet.

So excited to finally see the top of his head.

I know he looks a little annoyed here, but I'm convinced it's just his look of relief.

I think the band teachers at the school are exceptional. I, for one, am grateful for their patience and dedication in teaching these kids. When Reed told me he wanted to play the trumpet (on top of everything else extra!) I was a little hesitant because it would be an area that I would have zero experience to pull from to help him out. I was really worried the first time I heard him on the trumpet. He could barely get a sound out and when he did it wasn't a good one. I am amazed at how far he has come in one year with almost no pushing on prodding on my part. Now when he plays I can recognize the song and enjoy it too. In fact one of his favorite things to do is to play something by ear and have us guess. The boy has good ear--something my genes definitely did not offer him.

Not everyone was as entranced by Reed's toe tapping feet. At some point during the concert I looked down to see that Harlow had rummaged through my purse, found my phone and was watching a Taylor Swift music video. Really!!? Luckily I was able to snatch it back before she found the volume button. I promise she wasn't such a mess when we arrived. It looks like it wasn't just my purse she was rummaging through. What happened to her hair??

Max looks a little zoned here, but he did enjoy the music. He says he wants to play the trumpet too when he's old enough for band. (No surprise there.)  After a rousing rendition of Pompeii he was also considering the drums.

I don't remember any lullaby songs, but Ruby fell asleep pretty quickly. Nothing gets in the way of that girl and her need for sleep.

After the concert Harlow wanted to hunt Reed down as soon as possible. If this picture came with audio I sure it would be, "Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed! ReeeeeReeeeeee!" I love to hear her call for him. Reed was the first of her siblings name's she could say and right after she turned one she made a nightly ritual of calling him for dinner. She would stand in her high chair, cup her hands over her mouth and shout, "Reeeeeeeeee!" 

Ignore the lack of expression on Reed's face after the concert. When he found out his whole family was going to be there to see him he was thrilled and gave a real smile to prove it.

There's a smile finally.

This is what I got when I tried to get  "just one more" picture.

At least he couldn't stop me from taking this one. I love these two together.

I don't want to forget that we were all there.

I'm so glad I allowed (against what I thought was my better judgement) Reed to add one more thing to our crazy life and join the band. He learned a new skill, got to do something he loves, and I got sit in the audience and be a proud mom. It doesn't get better than that.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

My "perfect" family

For someone who adores pictures and takes seriously the role they play in memory keeping, I don't have nearly enough "whole family" photos.  We never seem to all be dressed appropriately at the same time and have a tripod or extra hands available to make it happen.  Funny thing is, we didn't have either of those things going for us when we took this picture yet I absolutely love it because it is "us"--a very unfiltered "us". Call it the wannabe journalist in me, but accurate and authentic are two things I am always going for in the record of our life. This picture, which would never have been taken if Brother Cox hadn't been begging for one, satisfies both of my criteria. I love Sam's slightly tired eyes (never enough sleep these days). They are tired, but they are happy and eager to please his wife with this picture. I love Reed's "I'm-going-to-look-as-cooperative-as-possible-so-this-can-be-over-quick" smile (he's my child that least appreciates being photographed---he'll thank me some day--I just  know it. I love Max's casual  and comfortable smile, that always seems to give a "I'm just happy to be here" vibe.  I love Ruby's sweet smile popping up appropriately between the two brothers she tags along after and idolize in so many ways. And then there is Harlow--blonde "handle bar" pig tails, big toothy smile, princess heels (of course), having simultaneously  not a care in the world while stealing the show all at the same time. And then there is me--despite the squinty eyes, it's not a bad pictures considering "photogenic" has never made it to my top ten list of talents...not even my top 50 or 100. Looking at this picture reminds me that there is a lot of perfection in the midst of all the imperfection. That is certainly true around here. I sure love this "perfect" family of mine.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Shoe girls

 I've got another shoe girl. I remember the first time I took Ruby into a shoe store--she practically hyperventilated with excited. Last week, Ruby and I and took Harlow for her first visit to a shoe store and I had a repeat performance. They were both in heaven. We were looking for church shoes for Ruby, but they both found several pairs they would have liked to take home. Ruby was so funny with her comments when I would show her a possibility she would say dramatically, "Oh,,yes! That is a definite yes." or "Yessssss...definitely yes!" Harlow was equally excited  and even though she used fewer words to express it, I knew exactly what she was thinking. She did her gallop- run through the store pointing in every direction shouting, "Shoey, Shoey!" pulling some down to try on every few steps.

After trying on about a dozen pairs of shoes we left with two--one more than we needed, but when they are this cute (the girls and the shoes) it's hard to resist.

This isn't a picture from the shoe store, but it does captures the essence of my shoe loving little one. I snapped this picture with my phone at Target when Harlow found some must-have furry shoes (slippers..I hope!?). She doesn't waste any time when she finds something to try on, she gets right to it. My Miss Independent was ready to trade in her converse for the dead animal-looking boots faster than I could find where she had run off to.

Thankfully, this picture is all we came home with from Target. Better luck next time, Harlow.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Gaver's Farm

Being able to stay home is good, but getting out on a beautiful day is wonderful too. On the second day of our "teacher work day" holiday, the kids and I headed to Gaver's Farm to soak up every moment of the unusually perfect weather.

First stop at Gaver's is always feeding the goats, although to be honest I think only Reed enjoyed the up close and personal interaction with them.

For not being a super animal lover, I was surprised at how confident Reed was around these aggressive (and apparently hungry) goats.

Harlow kept thinking she wanted to feed them, but then always opted to keep her distance.

Ruby, on the other hand, knew just where she belonged--nowhere near those long tongues.

After the goats (or we) had had our fill, we headed up the hill to check out all of the farm games. Gaver's is the best when it comes to having a large variety of outdoor actives. They have lots and we tried them all.

Rubber Duckie races. I love Reed's face as he give water pumping his all.

A "ring-the-milk- barrel" game that mostly turned into s "ring-the-Harlow"game. I liked that game better anyways.

A little baseball throwing.

Ruby wanted to get a picture of me, but I'm afraid this was the best she was able to do. I think she was just excited that she actually took one that didn't cut off my head. I'll have to give the heads up next time that my profile is not my best angle. At least there is now evidence of my existence at this activity.

Super Bikes.

My run away girl.

Gunnysack slides.

Cabin building. Reed had some grand plans...if only he had about 100 more sets of those logs.

This boy of mine was born with a surplus of ideas and a desire to create.

Harlow decided to try her hand at a little corn hole.

And then, because I really, really,really love my children, we went into the corn maze.

Harlow stopped and posed until I took her picture. That girl.

 I had to keep taking pictures to distract myself from the fact that we had voluntarily trapped ourselves in the middle of these tall stalks without another soul in sight in an area with poor cell phone reception. Did I mention how much I do not love corn mazes?? Yes, I love my children that much.

Thankfully we all survived the ordeal and thanks to this little poser it was actually kinda fun.

On our way out the boys raced over the hay bales. I couldn't help but snap some photos of a little brotherly competition.

  The win for Max...which  means, of course, there will be a rematch.

And a win for Reed, which makes a tie. I like ties. And with that we were able to call it a day---actually a practically perfect one.