Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Journey to California

I got a wild hair this year and decided to do something a little different for Christmas.  We went to California and spent Christmas week at my Dad,s house and, of course, also visited the Merriest Place on Earth!

Below is a collage of every picture I took over the entire week.  It was a crazy week to say the least but the highlight was of course, Christmas Day with family and then with our favorite Mouse!
I drove to California with the 3 kids on the 19th and Eric joined us a few days later.  In those few days, I risked our lives driving in crazy rain down the Cajon Pass into San Bernardino, watched Southern California flood from my dad's house, took Cameron to the ER with croup, and braved Disneyland with the 3 kids on my own in the pouring rain...whew! What doesn't kill us makes stronger, right?  On top of being pregnant and barely getting past the sick stage, I am extremely moody and tire very easily these days... just ask Braiden.    Cant imagine why...
Needless to say, I was very happy for Eric to join us so I could have a little break from worrying about the kids' every move.

We had an excellent time at my Dad's house, hanging out with the kids and visiting.  Heaven knows we had plenty of togetherness as there was no going anywhere in the crazy rain that did not stop for 4 days straight.  We went to the movies, ate chips and salsa and played, played, played!

I took the kids to D-land on that Wednesday (was going to be Tuesday but 2am on Tuesday morning I was in the ER with Cameron so we needed our rest) and we had a great, although wet, day.  It rained on and off all day but we had hardly any waits so I will take the rain.  The only bummer if the day is that Cameron's Mickey Mouse jacket and hat were stolen right off of our stroller...yes, crime happens even at Disneyland.  All I can hope for is that it went to a child that really needed it. 

This is good pictorial evidence that it takes many shots to get a descent photo with this wild group.  After about 14 shots...

...we got this.  And my Dad's eyes are still closed. HA!


Christmas Eve brought leaving food on the lawn for the reindeer, reading the Christmas Story from the Bible, The Night Before Christmas read by Dad and all the kids squeezing into one room to sleep. Oh yes an don't forget the endless putting together, wrapping, taping, and Santa-ing.  **WINK, WINK**

Christmas Day I was happy to report that the kids actually slept until 7:30am!  Santa was good to everyone that day.  Paigey got her Barbie Laptop and Cameron got his "Fwinkey Dog" (Slinky Dog).  They succeeded to make a 3-foot high pile of wrapping paper in 2 minutes FLAT!  Then my dad made breakfast... can you find it?  Yikes.

We braved Disneyland on Christmas Day.  I thought this was going to be a unique idea.  Nobody actually goes to Disney on Christmas!   Oh ya right!  I think half of North America was in Anaheim that day!  They actually SOLD OUT of tickets...SOLD OUT!  Good thing we already had ours.  We made the best of it and had a great time.  The people are ruthless but patience is key unless you want to kill someone; and something tells me that isn't acceptable at Disneyland. 

And people wonder why love Disney so much...look at those faces.

We got home after a VERY LONG DRIVE.  As I suspected there was terrible traffic the second we got on the freeway by my dads house ALL THE WAY TO VEGAS!  What should have taken 3 hours, took a whopping 6 hours! We stayed in Vegas and made our way back the next day.  When we got home we had another Christmas with the gifts that we left at home.  The kids thought they were in heaven.  Christmas twice??  Whoopeeee! 

I always like to take some pictures of the Christmas Decor to motivate myself the following year.  Also so I can remember how my house looked during these times of the year.  I am afraid that I will forget.  These are just a few of my favorite little reminders of the season.  I know its just "stuff" but many times during this time of year, especially this year while I have been super sick with pregnancy, I will sit in my living room and just look around, and my comfy home and the sounds of my kids makes me remember why I am who I am and how blessed I am to be me.

I especially love my Door of Love (the Christmas card door).  I LOVE getting cards from my friends and family and hanging them up as a reminder of how loved we are.  This year's door isn't to shabby! Thanks everyone.  XOXO!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Paige, The Dancing Candy Cane

The Erickson Children's Holiday Best

In their Sunday Christmas best!  Dont they look sweet?  (Don't let them fool you)

Princess Paige
Cool dude Braiden. Watch the hair, it bites!

Cameron the goofball.

December Festivities

Festivities are afoot!

Braidens 6th Grade Christmas Program

Where's Waldo, I mean Braiden?  Can you spot him?


November 2010 Recap

November was a month for slacking in the blog department so here is the quick November recap:

Not sure if I mentioned it but Braiden started playing tackle football this year for the Ute Conference Youth Football League.  Yes, I said Ute.  Its ok, we are still BYU fans.  Their basic purpose is to train up youngins to play high school football so assuming we still live the same place when Braiden goes to high school, he would be playing for the Jordan Beetdiggers of Jordan High School. To our slight surprise, Braiden wowed the coaches at his try-outs and made the "A"team of the Jordan Beetdigger Mighty Mites.  That was a day of joy and jubilation for Braiden and a day of fear and trepidation for me.  Heaven knows I am proud of the kid. I know he has a talent and potential that needs fostering, but am I football mom material??  Yikes!!

Well, thank my lucky stars that he played with other boys in our ward and one of his coaches is our Bishop so I was given more help than I ever deserved in getting him to 3x/week practices and weekly games.  On top of that, Braiden did great, continued to impress his coaches, learned a ton AND did really well in school all at the same time!  Yeah for Braiden!!  Go 64!!  It made me NOT hate football and actually I have to give myself a little pat on the back for actually learning a bit about the game.  I figure if I am going to be a pro-mom, I better know when to cheer, right? 
 As well as the season went, however, I was singing hallelujah when the end of the season came.  Enough is enough.  I will be re-charged by the time next season comes.
Braiden's Biggest fans are his little brother and sisters.  They love watching him play.  Cameron already has a plan for his football career.
Wigington #64

Family night consisting of Twister and Caramel Apples.  Who could ask for more??

November 19th, 2010
Eric celebrates his 38th year on earth!

A tradition that we have maintained since the kids were old enough on Eric's birthday:  We let the kids pick the flavor, frosting and decor for a birthday cake that they get to make for him.  They have grown to look forward to this every year and Eric is always excited to see what they thought of.  This year was all about marshmallows and sprinkles...ew. 
I think that look is saying, "Oh, heaven help me not to enter a diabetic coma if I eat this."

Thanksgiving 2010

This year Thanksgiving was hosted at my house (Pot Luck style, of course). 

We were graced with a bit of a snow storm right before Thanksgiving.  This is the view from my front door.

Nothing much else happened in November...Oh! Except for our announcement of another little Erickson coming soon.  June 2011 to be exact.  Stay tuned for updates!

Halloween Extravaganza 2010

Thats my son, fairy Braiden.

Paige at her school Halloween Parade. She was the cutest of all 12 Super Girls that I saw.

Eric's work trick-or-treating


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Night with My WITCHES!

October 22, 2010 marked my first time ever attending Witches Night Out with a group of crazy women that take pride in being 'witches'.  We got totally decked out as you can see and partied all night long.  I thought I was way too old to be acting like this....

I think not... 

Till next year.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Punkin Pickin' and Guttin'


Last week we went to the best Pumpkin Patch ever!!
I say that because we got ALL those pumpkins in the wheel barrow for 10 bucks!!  The cheaper the better, right?

My kids are just so stinkin funny.  Cameron thought that his job was to find the funniest pumpkin, Braiden was bent on finding the BIGGEST pumpkin and Paige...well Paige just couldn't decide. 

I would like to express to you how I loathe pumpkin carving.  Call me scrooge or what have you, but I just cannpt handle the smell or the texture of pumpkin guts.  Ugh, it makes my stomach turn just thinking about it.

Of course, Braiden took full advantage of my disdain for the foul stuff.

Cameron is just cute.

Paige is just a little silly.  Oh by the way, can you see where she lost a tooth?

Thank goodness for Daddy and his strong pumpkin stomach.  Happy kids= happy day.


We left at 6 am on September 17th 2010 to begin our very long journey to Puerto Rico where we set sail for a very fun, long, crazy and relaxing 7-day cruise to the Southern Caribbean.  Our destinations were exotic, hot and very sunny and we lucked out and had perfect weather the entire time.  It was exhausting and unforgettable all at the same time.  We went with a group of wild kids (I say kids only because Eric and I were the eldest of the group) and we had a great time. 
Here is the pictorial proof.

Day 1:
We arrived in Puerto Rico by about 4pm and crashed in our hotel and we were exhausted.  No pictures.

Day 2:
Day 1 in Puerto Rico

We explored our way around Old San Juan,   stopped at Senor Frog's for lunch.  Braved the pouring rain storm that came a went very quickly, We visited the Castillo San Felipe del Morro which was right next to an awesome old cemetery. Let pigeons eat out of our hands and went to the Parrot Club for dinner.

Day 3:
Second day in Puerto Rico and boarding day.

We visited another castle fort Castillo San Cristóbal and nearly sweat to death.  Then we headed to the ship to cool off, get comfortable and set sail!

Day 4:  
St.  Thomas

Eric and I ventured out and walked around St Thomas open-air market, took a little city tour and went to a gorgeous beach complete with resident iguanas and white sand.

 Day 5:
The Nature Island of Dominica

In Dominica we spent the day with the whole group and had a blast river tubing, exploring the rain forest and wading in the hot mineral pools.
 Day 6:
St. Lucia

While part of the group went scuba diving, we took a scenic tour of the forest island of St. Lucia.  This island is very mountainous so shortly into the drive I was feeling quite carsick.   I had to ride with my head between my legs so I wouldn't hurl.  Never the less, St. Lucia is a gorgeous place.  We went to the Peton Volcano and saw the steam pools at the base of it, stopped at a local bakery and had some delicious bread, drove through acres and acres of banana plantations and admired a gorgeous waterfall from afar.
 Day 7:
St. Kitts

St Kitts (AKA St. Christopher) was pretty interesting experience.  We rode in a very bumpy, open-air cab and had a bit of an island tour, walked the rain forest for 45 minutes, stopped at a really cool botanical garden and then went to Cockleshell Beach, which was supposed to be the nicest beach on the island.  I suppose "nicest" is a relative term but really?  It was far from nice.  We did, however, get some great, cheap massages on the beach which left me sore for days.  If you are wondering about the pig picture, Cockleshell Beach has a resident pig, Wibur, that wanders the beach and just lives there...ew.  That left me a little turned off to Cockleshell Beach but hey, you can win em all.
 Evening of day 7:  Dinner with the crowd

We had dinner every night in the dining room with our huge group and always had so much fun, eating, chatting, laughing, and eating some more.  It wouldn't be a cruise if there wasn't way too much food.

Day 8: 
St. Maarten

St. Maarten is a place that I pledge we will go back to someday.  It was gorgeous and I think my favorite thing was that the residents are prohibited from begging people for money or trying to sell you stuff.  Given that every island was crawling with people trying to swindle you out of every penny, this was quite refreshing and a perfect last cruise day.  We wanted our last day to be a beach day so we found the perfect beach to go to- Pinel Beach!  So gorgeous and very French (you know what that means, right?  Luckily there weren't many nudists).  We were there for about 5 hours and boy did my skin not appreciate that.  The sun there is evil- even in the shade.  I was probably in direct sunlight with 50 SPF on for about 30 minutes and got one of the worst burns of my life.  I spent the rest of the time in the shade but no matter, I was fried.  Eric was worse.  We had a great time playing in the warm, crystal clear water but we paid for it.  I resorted to covering myself with my beach towel because there was no other escape.  We paid $15 for a bottle of Aloe Vera on the ship that night.

Day 9:  Disembarkation and the LOOOOOOONG trip home.

Luckily we weren't kicked off the ship at the break of dawn.  We were able to sleep in a little, eat some breakfast and hang out for a little while before our number was called to disembark.  At this point we were ready to go home but really dreading the REALLY long flight home.  We made it home at about 1am and were very tired and still very sun burnt but so excited to see the kids sleeping faces and be back in our own beds.

Most of the group the first day in PR.

The whole crowd on formal night.

Me on Pinel Island.

The Ericksons and the Parrys in PR

Us in the taxi van on the Dominica Island Tour

Me...uh, I don't know what I am doing.  Just being me.

Eric and I enjoying the Caribbean sun and slowly frying our skin but loving it.