Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Making Our Own Snow

Well, thanks to Grandpa Rock, we were able to make our own snow in our house for the kids to play in! Two HUGE boxes arrived this past weekend and they were stuffed with the styrofoam peanuts. What are you supposed to do with mounds of them at your disposal? You make snow in your living room! The kids played for HOURS! They were sad that they couldn't make snowmen but they had a lot of fun making snow angels and throwing it at each other. We just wanted to tell Grandpa THANK YOU!!!
Now, if I could just figure out a way to clean up all of the little tiny pieces that are now all over my house............
Making Snow Angels

New York City, Here We Come--Almost!

This past weekend for my birthday, my sweet husband took us up to New York City--almost. We stayed in a hotel on the New Jersey side (the kids LOVE to go to the hotel--they would live there if they could!) and while we were on our way up there, it began to snow. We've had flurries here where we live but so far, nothing has stuck to the ground. We were all pretty excited about the white stuff, especially since we had packed all of the winter gear to take with us.
Sean took us to Panda Express for dinner at my request. He is so wonderful! We had to navigate almost 10 miles out of the way to find this place but it is what I've been craving and we don't have one ANYWHERE close by. We hung out at the mall, did a little shopping and then headed back to the hotel since that was all we were hearing from the kids--"Can we go back to the hotel, pleeeaaassseee????" The kids got ready for bed and snuggled in to watch a movie while Sean and I tried to figure out what buses we were supposed to take into the city.
Well, the next morning, we wake up to bitter, and I mean BITTER, cold weather with lots of wind and we both looked at each other like, "Are we back in Chicago?" After checking out the weather reports, we made the sad decision that we shouldn't even try to go to the city because we would probably get there and have to turn around and come right back due to our children's lack of tolerance for cold, windy weather. I was bummed but hey, what's a mom to do?
Well, I'm so glad we came prepared with our winter clothes because that is what we did--we got the kids all bundled up and we took them out to the back parking lot where they had piled snow up from plowing and we let the kids loose. It was so fun to watch them play with each other and then they started a snowball fight with Sean. Jaxon is one to watch out for! He's very sneaky and was having a ball throwing snow at Abby and hunting down his dad. After almost an hour, I was totally frozen and insisted that my little popsicles head back inside. We got them warmed up with a hot bath and then we loaded up and headed to the biggest Toys R Us store I've ever seen! The kids went crazy and so did Sean and I as we tried to navigate around all of the insane people there. I need to make a note to self to NEVER shop on the Saturday before Christmas at a toy store! We had a lot of fun and finally were able to convince the kids that we needed to head home. They were so tired that they both fell asleep in the car. The picture was priceless!

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Very Grateful Thanksgiving

This year we didn't have any family around to either go and visit or to visit us (which made it so I didn't have any desire to do my annual Black Friday Shopping trip, but I digress!) but we had the opportunity to have Sean's boss and his wife come over to our home for a combined effort Thanksgiving dinner. It turned out wonderful! It is a tradition in the Erickson family to have Granny's rolls at Thanksgiving dinner. Every year, my mom would re-create Granny's rolls and now the responsibility has been taken over by my younger sister, Jennie (who makes a mean roll!). Since we haven't been able to make it back to Utah to my parents house the past two years, I have tried to carry on the tradition with some pretty tragic results. Last year, it was my first time cooking with a gas stove and I had no idea the damage a stove like that could do to rising dough. Because I was running short on time, I thought I could speed up the rising process by setting the dough on the back burner while the stove was on and cooking the turkey. Instead of the dough rising, it got cooked! I didn't realize that there was a vent right there by the burner that allowed the heat from the oven to vent. Duh! We had a massive cooked ball of dough that was not able to be made into rolls. It was very interesting to look at but I was mortified that I had ruined the rolls! My poor niece, Hilary, who was visiting us, had never seen something like that before in her life! This year, since we had Sean's boss and his wife here, I was praying that the rolls would turn out and we wouldn't have a catastrophe like last year on our hands. I am proud to say that the rolls turned out beautiful and they tasted fantastic! Sean's boss was so impressed, he took a picture with his camera phone so he could remember them! (Actually, he took the picture so he could send it to me for the blog.) Here they are! We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. We are so grateful for all that we have been blessed with this year and look forward to the next year!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Visit to Palmyra, New York

This was walking up to the Mormon statue that is at the top of Hill Cumorah. What an incredible sight it was looking out over the valley! We had a lot of fun even though it was freezing cold that day! This was at the Smith Family Farm just outside of the Sacred Grove. We walked all through the grove and the kids were amazingly reverent. Before we walked into the grove, we told the kids that this was a quiet place and that we needed to be quiet. We also reminded them that this was where Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ visited Joseph Smith and suddenly, Abby started freaking out, saying that she didn't want to see Jesus that day. After trying hard not to laugh, we got her calmed down and told her that she probably wouldn't see him that day but she might feel him. That seemed to work for her. Oh, out of the mouth of babes! In the Sacred Grove Sean, Abby and Jaxon on our walk through the grove.

Holly, Abby and Jaxon in the Sacred Grove

My Little Kitchen Helpers

Jaxon wouldn't give up the oven mitts, even when
string cheese was involved. So, this is how a two
year old does it with oven mitts on!
Abby mixing the cookies
Abby blowing on the cookies
Abby tasting the cookies
My kids LOVE to help out in the kitchen. I love it, too, but sometimes there are just one too many cooks in the kitchen. But we always have lots of fun and make the BIGGEST messes!

Halloween--a little late

Grandpa Rock came to help daddy out while I was in California for my niece, Ryanne's, wedding. They had so much fun! This is Abby's preschool class all dressed up Abby and Jaxon had to have orange hair--it totally made their outfits! For the ward trunk or treat, I spiral curled Abby's hair and then we painted it all orange. It was VERY cute! Have you ever seen such a cute little witch and Batman with orange hair? Jaxon wouldn't put the mask on so we had to do SOMETHING--why not paint the hair?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Long time, No Post

I can't believe that 5 weeks has gone by and I haven't posted ANYTHING! That is so unlike me! We've had a lot going on--we've visited Palmyra (I'll post pictures soon), found out that my mother has been diagnosed with breast cancer (only stage 2 which is a REALLY good thing), sent Sean to Alaska for 5 days (and luckily, he returned home without freezing or getting eaten by a bear) and gearing up for him being gone for 2 weeks to Greece. Thank heavens for Grandma Erickson who is going to come and rescue me for a week! I'll make sure to post some new pics and stuff by this weekend.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's Pumpkin Time!!!!!

This past weekend we went to Terhune Farms on our annual trek in search of the perfect pumpkins and had so much fun! Abby, Jaxon and Sean were able to pick out their pumpkins, the kids got to go for a hayride, ride a REAL pony, eat lots of fun, homemade goodies, and jam out to a local band. We also took them through their first corn maze (check out the video) and they got to play on the dirt hill, sliding down until Mom couldn't handle seeing so much dirt on their little bums! The best part was tasting the warm, homemade apple cider donuts and fresh squeezed apple cider. I love this time of year! It has been so fun to see the leaves changing here--they are beautiful! This is Jaxon's only picture of his pony ride This was Abby's revenge for me making her sit still while I did her hair--she was the dirtiest of us all! The kids had a ball riding around in the wagon and taking their pumpkins for a ride.

Video in the corn maze--CAUTION--may get motion sick!