Monday, February 25, 2008

Darnit! TAGGED again...

As I have said before, I never do these things, right? I think I am making a liar of myself because I am actually starting to enjoying being TAGGED! Any reason to BLOG! Here goes:

1. What was I doing 10 years ago? I had been married for 13 days to my first husband. Whoa was that 10 years ago? I think I'm getting old. I was working at Alpha Plasma Center and in my 1st semester of nursing school at Utah Valley State College. Live in crappy apartment in south provo and drove the Caddy. Dang that was a long time ago.

2. 5 things on my to do list: Lose Weight (does that ever leave my list?), wash my car, laundry, BLOG, and make dinner.

4. 3 bad habits: leave my make up out all over the counter in the morning (Paige always gets into it), shop needlessly, and drop garbage all over my car.

5. If I suddenly become a billionaire I would: Pay off all our debt, my mom and siblings debt, buy them all homes and cars, give my sisters money for school, take my family on a huge trip around the world, put my kids in private school, invest, travel some more, get a tummy tuck and breast lift, laser hair removal, and then travel again.

6. Places I have lived: Van Nuys, CA; Ranch Cucamonga, CA; Apple Valley, CA; Rancho Cucamonga again; Los Osos, CA; Santa Maria, CA; Provo, UT; Orem, UT; American Fork, UT; Lehi, UT; Sandy, UT; Draper, UT.

7. Jobs I've had: Telemarketer, Diet Aid in Long term care facility, Mini Golf amusement park, Hostess @ Galaxy Diner in Provo, Old Navy in Orem, Alpha Plasma Center (phlebotomist), Serologicals Plasma Center (Nurse Supervisor), LabCorp (Traveling phlebotomist), Biomat Plasma Center (Medical Supervisor), American Red Cross (Clinical Services/stem cell collection), Oquirrh Dialysis Center (Staff Nurse), and last but not least HealthCare Insight (clinical analyst).

8. Things people don't know about me:
-I am the oldest of 11 kids now. My parents had 4 kids together and then were divorced. My dad remarried and had 4 more kids while se had a daughter from a previous marriage. My step mom passed away 5 years ago and my dad has since remarried again and has 2 more kids with her. So here they are: Me (30), Bonnie (28), Whitney (25), Ben (22), Christy (22), Julie (18), Johnathan (17), Paul (14), Mary (12), Lee (1), Sam (1 month). YIKES!! And there may be more one day.
-My family owns a Pizza Restaurant. (See previous post).
- I was a swimmer in high school. My events were back stroke and butterfly.
- I was a band geek in high school and loved it. First chair flutist.
-Are you bored yet?

The Pizza Festiva Elite 8!!

If any of you didn't know, my family owns a restaurant in American Fork called Cobblestone Cafe and Pizzeria. It has been open for 2 years and is doing very well. We are looking at franchising in the next year. It has not been an easy road by any means but we are proud of it.

My mom decided to enter Cobblestone into a Best Gourmet Pizza Competition sponsored by the International Pizza Expo (yes, there is such a thing). There are hundreds of people that enter their pizza recipes into this contest and only 8 are sent on to the final bake off. The Pizza Festiva Elite 8!! Keep in mind this is a national competition. Well guess who made it into the final 8!!! COBBLESTONE CAFE BABY!!! They liked our Macho Nacho pizza. Funny thing is, I have never liked that pizza. It is our own creation and is pretty inventive and very popular at the store but its pretty spicy.

So on to the International Pizza Expo we go April 1-3 to participate in the prelims and finals. My mom will be the chef and will have my bro-in-law Luke as her assistant. The prize will be $5000 and recognition in Pizza Today Magazine. Sweet! This is HUGE for a little homestyle place like ours. Wish us luck and come see us sometime!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Addiction Update...

My name is Amy Erickson....I am a has been 4 weeks since my last Diet Coke!!! (The crowd goes wild with applause) Yes everyone, its has been 4 weeks since I made the decision to stop drinking Diet Coke and guess what, I DID IT!. The first three days were hellascious as I had a KILLER migraine, felt nauseous and I thought I was going to die but the headache died, the cravings have waned, the suicidal tendencies stopped and I am a new non-dependant woman. Ok I will admit that I have had a sip here and there of my sister's or a caffeine-free DC but that has been about once a week and as far as I am concerned, I have quit. All things in moderation, right? I cannot believe how different I feel. I didn't believe people, but I am here to tell you all that not drinking soda and drinking water instead, really makes the machine function better.

SO...On to the next step of my self-imposed make-over. As I mentioned before, we have joined Lifetime Fitness and even Eric has been going at least twice a week. I am so proud of him. I have been going 4 times a week for an hour and I have now lost 11 lbs. AWESOME! Just about back to pre-pregnancy weight. The last pregnancy anyway. I will have to lose another 40 before I am back to my weight 10 years ago. But really I just want to start with another 20.

Here is my current goal: I will continue to work-out 4 times (4 hours) per week and maintain a 1800 cal diet consisting of 50% carbs, 25% Protein, and 25% fat. ( is an awesome website to help with this). I will increase my intake of fruits and veggies and by June 1st, 2008 I will lose another 20 lbs. I know it can be done and I am giving my self plenty of time. Thats about 3 months. I may lose more by then but I have to take baby steps. Stay tuned for updates...

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Ok so I was sitting here at my computer working and I started to feel this swaying sensation, like I was dizzy or somthing. But I looked up and the chandelier over the table was swaying back and forth. So I went to Eric and asked him if he felt any thing and he just looked at me like I was crazy. I grew up in Southern California so I have experienced an earthquake or two and I am pretty sensitive to what it feels like. Well, I decided to get on and sure enough, this was the headliner! I am not crazy after all!

6.3 Nevada quake felt in Utah

February 21st, 2008 @ 7:45am

(KSL News/AP) A strong earthquake that struck northeast Nevada was felt in Utah this morning.
The U.S. Geological Survey says the earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.3. It happened around 7:15 a.m. and was centered in a sparsely populated area 11 miles southeast of Wells near the Nevada-Utah line.
"It was pretty bad," said Jane Kelso, who answered the phone at the Motel 6 in Wells. "Everything in our whole building shook. "We have cracks in our walls." At least one water main also was reported to be broken.
The Associated Press reports Elko County (Nevada) Undersheriff Rocky Gonzalez said there are unconfirmed reports of damage to buildings in Nevada.
The quake was felt throughout Nevada, Utah, in Boise, Idaho, and as far away as Southern California.
In Utah, people from Brigham City to American Fork and throughout the Salt Lake Valley report feeling it.
Callers to KSL Newsradio this morning say they felt their homes sway. People on the eighth floor of the Intermountain Health building felt the building sway. The quake also shook the Wells Fargo bank downtown and may have temporarily knocked out power there.
One caller in Utah said their chandelier shook and their home earthquake alarm went off.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

This one's for you Cameron!

I recently realized that I just haven't been putting enough pictures of my kids on here. I mean, that was the original prupose of this BLOG but I like to share my random thoughts too much.
So this post is dedicated to my Cam man. He turned 5 months old on February 10th. On his 4 month check up he weighed 15lbs 12oz and is like 100 inches long. Ok not really but I can't remember exactly how tall he is but lets just say that this boy might be a basketball player. He is LOOOOOOONG! He is already wearing 6-9 month clothes and when I lay him next to his cousin, Baylee, who is 6 weeks older, he is about 4 inches longer than her. Whoa!
Cameron is such a smiley baby. He will laugh and laugh when anypne plays with him. But even when noboby is playing with him, I will catch him cracking up at his toy or his hand or whatever it may be at the time. He loves his baths. He always jumps a little when I first put him in the warm water and no matter what, he always pees in the tub. Watch out for that little pistol.

More often than not, I snap pictures where Cameron has the "deer in the headlights" stare. Occasionally I can catch a smile.

More and more lately he really wants to hold everything including his bottle and my hair. Its so fun to see him concentrate so hard to grasp something with his little tiny fingers. He will hold a toy and keep himself busy with it for minutes at a time (thats a long time for a 5 month old).

His Favorite toy is this silly one I got from Ikea. Its just a ring with a hippo head and hippo feet attached. Its perfect for his to get his hands around and chew on. He isn't teething yet, that I know of, but I am sure it feels good to chew anyway.

Such a Girl...

We went for a little jaunt down to Saint George last weekend to get some fun and sun. It was so nice there. Eric didn't go with us because he had to finish up things at his moms house so it was just me and the three kids. Whew! Let me just say that I love my husband more than ever now that I had to it for 3 days with out him. It was not relaxing at all but nice to get away nonetheless.

I took these pictures of Paige playing with my Grandma's antique toy stove. I used to play with the same exact toy when I was little and when I saw her playing there, I saw me. She was pretending to make dinner for everyone so she went around and gave everyone a "bite" or her pie. She is such a girl.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

This is for all those Cafe Rio Lovers out there!

I found this recipe on the internet and wanted to record it here. I will be going home and trying these recipes tonight. I hear they are perfect and taste just like the real thing!

Café Rio Dressing
1 buttermilk ranch dressing packet (make as per recipe)
2 tomatillos (tomato like vegetable with a husk around them)
½ bunch of cilantro
1 clove garlic
Juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeño (Use the seeds too if you like it spicy. You could substitute a few drops of green Tabasco for the jalapeno.)

Use a food processor to blend all the ingredients well. Refrigerate.

Cafe Rio Chicken
1 small bottle Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin3 cloves garlic—minced
5 lbs chicken breast
Cook all together in a crock pot for 4 hours, shred meat and cook 1 additional hour.
(Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing has 2 grams of sugar per serving. I try to avoid dressings with sugar, but this is a very small amount. You're only using 8 ounces of the dressing per 5 pounds of chicken if you follow this recipe, so it should be fine, even for South Beach Dieters.)

Sweet Pork
3lb. Pork Roast
16-oz. Chunky Salsa
1 Can Dr. Pepper
2 Cups Brown Sugar

Put pork in crock pot and fill half way with water. Cook 4 hours on high. Drain water, cut the pork in thirds. Mix together sauce (blend in blender) and pour on top of pork. Cook 4 more hours on low. Shred pork.

Café Rio Rice
4 c water
4 t chicken bouillon
4 t garlic –minced
½ bunch cilantro
1 can green chilies—or equivalent fresh
¾ t salt
1 T butter
½ onion
2 c regular white rice

Blend cilantro, green chiles and onion together in food processor. Bring water to a boil and add all ingredients, simmer covered 30 minutes.

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 cup tomato juice2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving stir in the cilantro.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Porn For Women- No Viewer Discretion Advised!

Okay, so I will admit that I was a little hesitant to put the word "PORN" in my blog for fear that those Googlers out there will come across my blog and be utterly disappointed, but then I thought "Let them be disappointed". Any one would get a kick out of this. I sure did. Especially with the upcoming dreaded Valentines Day headed our way, I thought this was pretty fitting. This is actually a book but I got these pics emailed to me and they were just too fun not to add to the BLOG.
I can't exactly say the seeing Eric vacuum or cook breakfast gives me the warm and tinglys but I can say that when he is working so hard to be a good dad and a good husband, as he always does, it gives me a pleasure that is irreplacable.
Eric gets up with both of the little kids every night. Not to say that I don't but he is always concerned about my sleep, or lack thereof , and it shows in his genuine concern for me and for his children. In fact, last night we were talking about how just a few years ago, we must have been bored because we can't remember what we ever did before we had our kids to take care of. Our days and hours and minutes and seconds are filled with our every concern for our kids, meeting their needs and ensuring their well-being, and we love it. We wouldn't have it any other way.

I have NEVER once have come across an open toilet seat in my house. Unless of course Braiden is the guilty party. In fact Eric is the first one to clean the bathrooms in my house because he knows I detest it. I have pretty clean bathrooms.

I don't get flowers all that often, mostly due to my request to not waste the money, but the times the Eric has brought me flowers, it was just because he felt like it and not for any other reason than to express that he loves me. Every Mother's Day and Birthday he has gone out of his way to make it special for me, whether we had money or not.

Okay, so Eric is a little proud and doesn't like to read instruction manuals or pull over for directions or listen to me as a backseat driver, but hey, everyone has faults. On the other hand, he always asks my opinion and respects what I have to say, even if he does not necessarily agree. On top of that he politely listens to my ranting and raving at the close of each day.
I love my husband. This year for Valentine's Day, since we are saving for our DisneyWorld Trip, we are not buying eachother gifts for Valentines Day or our anniversary in March. This was a mutual agreement. But the best gift that I could ever ask for is a partner and Best Friend who loves me and loves my children with all his heart.
Happy Valentines Day!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Elder Richard Hinckley's Testimony

A good friend of mine forwarded this to me in an email and I had to record it somewhere. I love hearing stories about President Hinckley from those that were close to him. This sheds a little more light on what really occured in the last few days leading up to President Hinckley's passing:

Dear family and friends: I thought you might enjoy reading this email that came from a sister in SLC who is in the same ward as Elder Richard G. Hinckley, President Hinckley's son. There are a few details not heard on the news reports that this sister shares here.

Elder Richard Hinckley bore his testimony in Sacrament meeting today. He thanked everyone for the notes, calls, food, flowers, and all they had done for their family.

He said President Hinckley had been diagnosed with cancer early in 2006, and was not expected to last until the end of the year. He and his five children met with Dr. Ward, his cancer doctor, to discuss options. The doctor said they did not know how chemotheraphy would work in a 95 year old, as they had not tried it before. President Hinckley said he had three questions, and had them written down on a paper. The first question was "Will I still be able to live on my own?" "Yes", the doctor answered. The second question was "Would I still be able to put in a full day's work?" "Yes", the doctor answered. President Hinckley's final question was "Will I lose my hair?" "No", the doctor answered. President Hinckley then agreed to have chemotheraphy. He said his life belonged to t he Lord, and He would take him when He was ready. President Hinckley said he needed to do all he could do to prolong his life, for he had work to do.

The doctors discovered the chemotheraphy was not working in January (2008). Again, the Hinckley family met with the doctors. At 97 years of age, recommended President Hinckley do nothing. President Hinckley replied again his life belonged to the Lord, and that he needed to do all he could do. He received the more aggressive chemotherapy the Tuesday before he died. On Wednesday, he went to the office and did a full day's work. Thursday morning, he did not get out of bed.

Elder (Richard) Hinckley said he was scheduled to go preside over a stake conference in Henderson, Nevada that weekend. Before he left, he talked with his dad, and felt prompted to give him a blessing. He also said he would take his cell phone, and keep it on. Saturday, after meetings, around 4pm, President Packer called and told him he needed to come home. He did, and stayed with his father and other members of his family until his father died.

Sunday afternoon, Presidents Monson, Eyring, and Packer came and gave President Hinckley a blessing. About 7pm, President Hinckley took his last breath, and passed away peacefully.

Elder Hinckley shared some anecdotes about his father. He said one of his dad's favorite pictures was a picture of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, with a photo of a singing President Hinckley electronically placed right in the baritone section. He would show it to everyone who came to visit. Elder Hinckley said this photo was something family members would fight over. Thursday night, after their practice, members of the Tabernacle Choir asked for their own private viewing. After, they presented each member of the Hinckley family with that photo.

Elder Hinckley spent a lot of time at the Conference Center during the viewing. One of the ushers shared a moment with him, which he thought was sweet—a small girl came through with her father. She asked her dad "Do you think President Hinckley has met Nephi yet?"

Elder Hinckley said true to form, his father had his funeral planned down to the last detail, leaving no decisions to his children. He planned the speakers, the hymns, everything. He said his father had "every button buttoned, and every knot tied"—as always, prepared.

Some of the things Elder Hinckley said about his father were that "he was reverent, faithful, humble, and true". As a family, the Hinckley's said, "We hope others will turn their hearts to the Savior".

He said a new prophet would be announced tomorrow, around 11am, and, although the Hinckley family had never tried to be in the limelight, they were ready to step back and fade into the background as this new prophet takes his place.

Elder Hinckley said there were many flowers at the funeral, so he brought up two arrangements to our chapel for us to enjoy. One arrangement was from President Hinckley's counselors; the other from the quorum of the seventy. He said they didn't need all of the flowers at home, and that they were going to die anyway, and invited all of us to come up and take a flower after sacrament meeting. Many of us did so after the meeting, and we have made a bouquet we are enjoying here at the house. We are planning to dry as many as possible.

Annie babysat this morning for Michael and Heather Hinckley while they attended Music and the Spoken Word. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir was singing a medley of President Hinckley's favorite hymns. They had reserved 100 seats for the Hinckley family, and Heather and Michael (they are the ones who lived in our house while we were in Honduras), went.

It has been a very spiritual day for me, and something I really need during this dreary winter. We have had snow about every other day this January, and cold since the first of December. We have four feet on the side of our driveway, and two feet in the yard, and it is snowing again. I am glad I have these beautiful flowers, and memories of President Hinckley, to lift me up.

Monday, February 04, 2008

I almost forgot...Big news for the Mormons!!

"Thomas S. Monson is the new president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it was announced today at a news conference in the Church Office Building. President Monson, 80, succeeds President Gordon B. Hinckley, who died 27 January 2008.The new world leader of the Church has called to serve with him in the First Presidency, the top governing body of the 13-million-member faith, President Henry B. Eyring, 74, first counselor, and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, 67, second counselor. "

(Thanks for the pics and the quote Cathi)

To My Diet Coke...Goodbye Dear Friend!

No one’s ever said Diet Coke’s good for me. But it’s the one vice I have, and I hate to give it up. I have been drinking it for too long and unfortunately, I’m really starting to think it’s bad for me. Over the last year and ahalf I have been struggling with regulating my thyroid and my Doctor informed me that I am "pre-diabetic". What ever that means. So since I am now pretty much fully recovered from this go around with pregnancy, I am really focused on my health in general and how I can FINALLY reach the goals that I set for myself before I ever even got married. So I figure baby steps is the way to go. My first mission... QUIT DIET COKE. Cold Turkey! (Like my picture? Couldn't find a DC pic so this will have to do to illustrate my vision)
Here are the ingredients in Diet Coke, per McDonalds’ website:

Carbonated water, caramel color, phosphoric acid, sodium saccharin, potassium benzoate (to protect taste), natural flavors (vegetable source), citric acid, caffeine, potassium citrate, aspartame, dimethylpolysiloxane.

Scary stuff. Definitely not what I would call natural. I have heard about the danger of sodium benzoate, so I thought I’d check out the similar Diet Coke ingredient, potassium benzoate. Here’s what Wikipedia says about it:
In combination with ascorbic acid (vitamin C), sodium and potassium benzoate may form benzene, a known carcinogen. Heat, light and shelf life can affect the rate at which benzene is formed. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently (as of March 2006) performing tests, but the Environmental Working Group is calling for the FDA to publicly release all tests and use their authority to force companies to reformulate to avoid the potential benzene forming combination.[3]
Potassium Benzoate (or E212) was recently described by the Food Commission, who campaign for ’safer, healthier food in the UK’, as “mildly irritant to the skin, eyes and mucous membranes”. [4]

Wow. Does that mean adding a lemon slice to Diet Coke makes it even worse? So I have officially not had a sip of the evil juice for a whole 8 days now. I will soon post a ticker to track my success with staying off it.
So, it looks like I need a new vice. Of course, it can’t be dangerous, cancerous, fattening, or evil. So, maybe there’s nothing that will qualify. Maybe my time spent blogging will have to count as my vice.

What Is This Thing That Men Call Death

This is really interesting...I, along with millions of others, watched President Hinckley's Funeral on Saturday. I really enjoyed the words that his family and friends spoke. I couldn't help but notice the sad experessions on President Monson and President Eyrings faces as they sat next to the empty seat of their beloved friend. It really touched me how President Monson talked about him as his "Best Friend" and told funny touching stories about his quirckyness as well as how he respected and revered him as a Man of God.
I also was especially touched by the last song that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang entitled "What Is This Thing Called Death". This was sung while they played a video tribute to him. This is where I lost it and began to cry the same way I have at funerals of my own family members that have passed away. I wondered what that song was as I did not recognize it. Well, this morning my mom forwarded an email to me that answered my question. The following explains that Janice Kapp Perry wrote the music and the words were actually written by Gordon B. Hinckley himself. Coinsidentally, I am indirectly related to Janice Kapp Perry. My Great Aunt is her cousin. Read Below and if you want the sheet music click Here.

In the words of Janice Kapp Perry….

During President Hinckley's funeral the Tabernacle Choir will be singing a hymn text written by President Hinckley which I set to music in December. I would like to share the story of it with you:

About two months before my niece Kathy Blacker died, on January 11, 2008, she found a three-verse poem by President Hinckley among her files. Although she was resigned to dying, she had some fears about the dying process and his words greatly comforted her—especially the second verse which descirbed exactly what she was feeling. She wrote to Pres. Hinckley's office to ask permission to have the poem printed on her funeral program, and she received a very nice letter from his secretary Don H. Staheli saying that President Hinckley gave his permission for her to do so. The letter also conveyed some very comforting words from Pres. Hinckley which were helpful to helpful to Kathy in her final weeks, and he said he would remember Kathy in his prayers.Then Kathy suggested that I write and ask permission to give the poem a hymn setting. I did so, and Brother Staheli conveyed President Hinckley's permission for me to write the hymn. After offering some heartfelt prayers that I might be able to write appropriate music for his profoundly beautiful and moving text, I wrote the hymn setting and sent a copy to President Hinckley's office for approval at the end of December. I received an immediate response.Kathy passed away January 11 and after her funeral I sent a copy of her funeral program to President Hinckley's office so he could see how nicely his poem was displayed along side my brother Gary Kapp's painting of Christ.
When I heard President Hinckley had passed away last Sunday night I was feeling a little sad to think I hadn't received a letter with his official approval. But the very next day after his passing, the hoped-for letter arrived with his approval, his permission for me to publish it in a future volume of my series Inspirational New Hymns for Choir and Home, and leaving it to my discretion as to whether to submit it to the Church Music Division. The timing was so unusual and I was extremely grateful to receive the letter as a tender mercy in my life.Then on Monday afternoon Craig Jessop, Tabernacle Choir Director, heard about the hymn and had his office call me to obtain a copy of the hymn for consideration for President Hinckley's funeral. On Tuesday, while travelling in California, I learned that the hymn would be performed by The Tabernacle Choir at President Hinckley's funeral on Saturday.Having seen the great comfort this hymn brought to my niece who died just two weeks before President Hinckley passed away, my great desire is for people throughout the world to have a free copy of these magnificent words of President Hinckley to comfort them in times of the loss of loved ones. This is just one more way his influence could be felt down through time.