Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year?

We've had sick kids here the past couple of days. Emily woke up with a sore throat on Friday, so we have her back on her medicine. The delay in Atlanta threw us off her medicine schedule and we got lazy about starting her up again. I hope her medicine lasts until we get back home, but I am doubtful. Eleanor had a slight fever on and off on Friday and she complained her stomach hurt. Yesterday, the kids seemed to be on the mend (we were mostly just dealing with Eleanor sneezing and blowing snot out her nose), so we drove to Preston, Idaho to look at some Napoleon Dynamite sites. Then we stopped in Logan, Utah for lunch at the Mandarin Garden. The kids don't really like Chinese food, so we stopped and bought them a snack to eat on our way to the restaurant from Preston. We stopped and visited with some friends in Logan who used to live near us in Maine. Then we stopped to see Matt's cousin and his wife in Logan before we drove back to Matt's parents' home.
Zoe woke up in the middle of the night last night with an upset stomach. She threw up several times throughout the night and slept in the bathroom. This morning Zach threw up at the kitchen table and he's had a few nasty diapers, but he hasn't acted very sick. He still has lots of energy and he doesn't have a fever. We're hoping everyone is on the mend and will be well tomorrow. The kids are missing out on cousin time and that is very sad. Matt's Mom stayed home with the kids today while Matt, Matt's Dad, and I went to church, which was very nice.

Hopefully the new year will bring good health!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Another day of fun

We went to visit a couple today who served a mission in our branch several years ago. It was fun to talk with them and update them on what's going on now in the branch. They fed us lunch and the husband did his famous magic trick that Zoe and Emily remember...pulling candy out of the girls' ears. It was fun to see the couple's new home and hear what's going on in their lives now.

We got one of the cousins to babysit our kids this evening. We had an adult dinner out with Matt's parents, siblings, spouses, and our 9 week old niece who was very good. We missed Matt's sister who wasn't feeling well, though :-( It was a fun evening and we came home to a quiet house where our girls were in bed :-)

We are accomplishing the things on our list of what we want to do while here, and seeing the people we want to, so we are happy about that.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

We went over to Matt's sister's home yesterday with Matt's parents. Eleanor fell in love with their dog!

Zoe and Emily with their cousin...

Zach was in his glory when he found this bike to ride on...

Matt, Zoe, Emily, Eleanor, and I went to temple square last night. I love how you can walk right up to the Salt Lake temple now!

Matt and the girls with the temple in the background...

We had a family photo taken today with Matt's parents, Matt's siblings, and all the kids. There were some stressful moments, but overall I think it went pretty well. Zach was not happy when the cousins picture was being taken with Matt's parents!
The cousins exchanged gifts today. They had waited long enough!
Matt and I are about to leave to go to dinner with some friends. I better go before I make us late!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A peachy place to be...

Our trip started out quite smoothly with getting all our family and luggage into the Bangor airport in one trip. We got to the check-in counter, gave our last name, and the lady read off my name and the girls..."and Matthew", I said...a moment of panic when she didn't reply back as she looked at the screen, but then she found him under his own name, separate from the rest of us. We got our luggage checked in with no problems and we headed upstairs to wait for our flight to be announced to board. The kids had a great time playing in the children's area, excitement was in the air. Things are going great...and then our boarding gets delayed. We wait another hour and then we get to board the plane. While waiting in line to board, Eleanor asks in surprise, "Are all of these people going to Grandma & Grandpa's too?!" The kids watched movies during the flight, Zach took a nap and then wandered from Matt to me, me to Matt (we were in different rows), we ate snacks, and had a good flight.

We get to Atlanta (hoping our next flight was delayed as well), show the connection information lady our ticket and she sends us to gate A10, so we go from concourse C to concourse A on a train, after going down an escalator, only to see that this gate was boarding to Tampa...not what we want. Matt talks to the guy at the counter, who gives us encouraging is going to be nearly impossible to get a flight to Salt Lake City...and he sends us to a gate in concourse B. Escalator, train, concourse B, get on standby list, wait, plane leaves full of passengers without us, we head to concourse A...escalator, train, I'm carrying Eleanor at this point and losing my energy, and we plop ourselves down to wait again. We put in movies for the kids and wait...

...the plane leaves full without us again and we mentally prepare ourselves to spend the night in the Atlanta airport. Matt goes to see if we can get on a different flight the next day and the kids and I wait. It is about 10pm now and we are all hungry at this point and tired of course. The girls and I are snacking on disgusting fries and imitation burgers. Matt comes back with good news...we are booked on a flight...but not until Sunday, Christmas Eve. We find an empty gate to get comfortable in (Zach and Eleanor are already asleep at this point), Zoe and Emily watch a movie. At midnight, all the kids are asleep, either on the floor or on a chair.

I lay down on the chairs around 12:30 and sleep on and off until 3:30. Zach wakes up at this point, so we put a movie in for him. We watch people work and walk by, listen to the announcements over the loudspeaker over and over again. The first flight to leave for Salt Lake in the morning was leaving at 7:00, so when the time finally came to go watch the standby list, we did. It didn't look hopeful. When the plane was mostly boarded, the guy at the counter started calling out standby names, but the majority of the standby people weren't there, so we heard him say, "Erickon". We are ready to split up if we need to, so Zach and I are ready to board the plane. We wait to see if any other seats will be available and there is one. So Eleanor, Zach, and I say goodbye to Matt, Zoe and Emily and we board the plane. Eleanor sits in 30A, near the window next to a couple who have a little boy, probably a little younger than Zach and I sit in 39B, hoping that Eleanor is going to be alright by herself. Zach falls asleep during take-off, so I wait for him to wake up before I go check on Eleanor. It is a long flight, but I am happy to be on it. Eleanor does great. The mom next to Eleanor said she entertained them and was very good. I was relieved. I have never been so happy on a trip to Utah to land in Utah! Matt's dad, brother, and niece were at the airport to meet us. I didn't expect to see our luggage for at least a few days, but thanks to Matt's brother's flying expertise, he managed to get all of our bags. Yay! When I boarded the plane in Atlanta, Matt and I were very hopeful that he and the girls would be able to catch the next flight out to Salt Lake, but it didn't happen. They didn't get on any of the flights that day, so they stayed in a hotel and waited for their Christmas Eve flight to San Diego and then to Salt Lake. We would see them around 4:30pm on Christmas Eve. I was an emotional wreck on Christmas Eve! I talked with Matt in the morning and I couldn't stop crying after that. It wasn't until after Matt and the girls arrived and Matt and I talked that I was able to stop crying. We went over to Matt's brother's home (a different brother) to have Christmas Eve dinner. It was nice to be together as a family, eat a delicious meal, be surrounded by extended family, and be in a home that was beautifully decorated for Christmas. It felt good. Zoe, Emily, and Eleanor LOVE playing with their cousins. They play like they see each other all the time.

It was really a miracle that Eleanor, Zach, and I were able to get to Salt Lake on Saturday. I was able to do our last minute Christmas shopping and wrap the gifts that evening, which was part of the original plan.

We had a very nice Christmas with Matt's parents. It was fun to watch the girls open their gifts. Zach was never interested in opening his gifts, but he liked playing with them after someone else opened them.

The stockings were hung with care...

Zoe and Emily received the American Girl dolls they wanted from Santa, and Santa brought Eleanor a doll named Amanda, but Eleanor calls her Sarah...

Zach loves his magnetic toy that Santa brought, and everyone else likes to play with it, too!...

Zoe and Emily each received their favorite toy from the magazine they looked at over and over again...

Matt's brothers and sister and their families came over to visit throughout the day, which was fun. The girls played with their cousins, and the older cousins were all happy to play American Girl dolls together.

Matt, Zoe, and Emily gave me this magnet for Christmas...

Maybe someday our family will have the same opinion.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Utah, here we come!

We're leaving for the airport in 45 minutes. We're doing last minute packing, dishes, clean-up, Matt is out picking up extra binkies for Zach...we are ready for this's all about attitude, right?!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Packing day

No time to talk really, but wanted to say "Hi!". I'm off to give my dad his birthday present...Happy Birthday, Dad! I have a doctor's appointment, then I'm coming home to pack.
Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas getting to know me

Welcome to the 2006 Holiday Edition of Getting to Know Your Friends!
I copied this from Cindy.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Wrap

3. Colored lights or white lights on the tree/house? We put colored lights around the inside of our house and on the tree (no tree this year), and white lights outside (but our outlet outside isn't working so no outside lights this year).

4. Do you hang mistletoe? No ( I have nothing against mistletoe, I just never think about it when we're decorating)

5. When do you put your decorations up? Usually I wait until December 1st, but since we are leaving before Christmas for Utah, I started decorating the day after Thanksgiving.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Sausage Egg Casserole...I love having a big breakfast on Christmas morning.

7. What is your favorite Holiday memory as a child? Taking a loooong time to open presents. My sister and I would take turns opening a gift, so everyone could see what the other got. We have our kids each open a gift at the same time and then they have to wait until they are all ready to open another one.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? What...There's no santa?!

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? I did as a kid, but we don't usually let our kids. I did buy Zoe and Emily pajamas one year and we let them open those to wear to bed Christmas Eve.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? Colored lights, lots of ornaments (mostly homemade), and a paper star on top.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it for Christmas.

12. Can you ice skate? Yes, and Zoe and Emily are very anxious to go skating!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? There was a favorite gift every year...I remember the cabbage patch kid...a must have!

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Remembering Jesus, the true meaning of Christmas, spending time with family

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Sugar cookies

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Going to the Creche exhibit and parade of lights the first Saturday of December.

17. What tops your tree? A yellow paper star

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Giving, I'm excited to watch the kids open their gifts!

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? What Child is this

20. Candy Canes! It wouldn't be Christmas without candy canes!!!...I think there originally was a question here...I do like candy canes, but the kids don't eat them, so I haven't bought any.

Zoe and Emily each made a Christmas card and then I photocopied them so they can give a card to each of their classmates and teacher. We bought tootsie pops to put on the front of the envelopes. Zoe's card is on the left, and Emily's card (intentionally upside down because that is how she made it) is on the right.

Our family picture.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

She did it!

Zoe picked out cute turtle earrings for her first pair. When we first got to the store, there was only one lady there working so we thought she would have to have one ear done at a time, but by the time all the paper work was signed and we paid the bill (Matt asked if we were getting Zoe's ears pierced or buying a car!) another lady came in so they did both ears at the same time. Zoe was surprised at how quick it took. She had a look of awe on her face when it was done. She thought they would make the holes and then put the earrings in. She said it hurt more than she expected, but she's glad she did it. Now she has another excuse to spend time in front of the mirror!

The kids enjoyed shopping for each other and it was a very productive evening.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Early Christmas

We had an early Christmas with my parents yesterday. The highlights were the baby dolls my grandmother bought for the girls and the blankets she made to go with the dolls, the Diego field journal which my mom bought for Zach, and a friend of ours bought the same thing for Zach, so now there is one for Zach and one for the girls (which they ALL want to play with), Eleanor's Dora cash register, a gift card for Zoe to get her ears pierced (which we're planning on using this evening), and our 2 portable DVD players with 14 hours of playing time for each one, and the girls each got a CD player with headphones...entertainment for our long journey on Friday :-) Matt's eager to watch his new "Talladaga Nights" movie.
It was nice to have a Christmas before Christmas with my parents. We ate a yummy dinner, the kids enjoyed their new toys, and we enjoyed being together.

This is our first year having the kids buy for each other. They each picked a name in secret and we're going to the dollar store this evening to shop for Family Home Evening. It will be fun to see what they pick out for each other. Zach picked his own name, so he'll get to keep something that he likes, which I think will work out perfect for him.

Zoe's class made gingerbread houses last week for their families. I think Zoe did a great job!

There are a bunch of green and red m&ms on the back.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Emily update

Emily is feeling a lot better today. She HATES to take her medicine and insists that she's better and doesn't need it. We know better.
Any suggestions on how to get her medicine to liquids can be a carry-on and it needs to be refrigerated. Hmmm...

Friday, December 15, 2006


Yes, Emily has Strep throat.


The big headline on The DrudgeReport this morning is "Americans use TV, other Media 10 hours a day." That will be us today since Emily is home sick with a bad sore throat, which I am suspecting is Strep Throat. One of her classmates just got over strep, so I am hoping to get her into the doctor today. I called my mom earlier this morning to see if she could bring over some movies, so now we are well stocked for the day.
Zoe has a short play at school this afternoon and if all goes well, Matt is going to come home with the car that he took this morning and watch Emily, Eleanor and Zach while I go to the play, and then if I get Emily an appointment this afternoon at the doctor, I'll take the kids to the appointment in the car and Matt can take his truck back to work. We shall see.

We leave for Utah in 1 week to spend Christmas with Matt's family:-) How many of our kids will be on antibiotics is the question.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Back to pink!

Madison's first gift...a blanket made by a young woman in our branch.
Isn't it beautiful?!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Giving thanks

I got a call from the school nurse yesterday morning saying that Zoe's ear was hurting. The nurse gave Zoe some Tylenol and it helped Zoe get through most of the day, but the nurse called again around 1pm when Zoe returned to the clinic. I picked Zoe up and brought her to the doctor an hour later. She has a double ear infection. It seems to be a viral infection, so we are sticking with the Tylenol at this point. She is back at school today since she was bouncing off the walls last night with the rest of the kids! My neighbor, Jenn was here when I got the second call from the nurse yesterday and she volunteered to stay with Zach and Eleanor and to be here when Emily got home from school. It was a big help, thanks Jenn!

Before that all happened, I was able to make cookies and brownies to give to friends and members of our church, so Matt and I left around 6:15pm and started making our rounds. We got home around 10pm. It took longer than we expected, but it was fun visiting with friends and families and delivering goodies to them. My mom watched our wild kids for us, thanks mom!

Monday, December 11, 2006

These are a few of my favorite things...

Matt and I have been married 10 years as of yesterday. The last 10 years have been GREAT and I look forward to many, many, many more years together with Matt :-)

About Me:
What are your favorite colors? I love navy blue, cranberry red, and Ivory together.
What are your favorite flowers? Roses
What are your favorite foods? I like a lot of favorite homecooked meal is fried haddock with a sour cream and basil sauce with mashed potatoes, squash, and asparagus, when I eat out at a restaurant some of the foods I like are fried shrimp with rolls, cheeseburger and fries, and a chicken caesar salad. For my birthday I like to eat lobster, and for treats I love chocolate desserts, strawberry cheesecake, and peanut M&Ms.
What are your favorite activities and hobbies? I love to read. It is very relaxing to sit in my chair at the end of the day when the kids are in bed and read a good book. I scrapbook, which mainly these days is a journal with pictures. I like to do aerobics...when I'm not pregnant; I like to take my kids to different activities in the community and to do fun things with them; I love datenight with Matt; I like to putter around my house decluttering and organizing; I like to listen to talks on Sundays that are on the BYU-TV website; I like to play card games and board games; I enjoy shopping at Goodwill for our family and dropping off bags of simplified stuff; and I enjoy changing diapers (just seeing if you're paying attention!).

Thanks for enduring my pregnancy venting the other day. It did make me feel better to write about it. Happy Monday!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Is my due date right?

I've been trying to blog the past few days, but blogger has had some issues.

It is snowing. I have a doctor's appointment today for the baby. I hate driving in the snow, but I will attempt to leave early and drive slow. I am 33 weeks pregnant today, but from the questions and reactions I get from strangers I meet these days, I look 40 weeks pregnant. I've decided to keep track of comments I receive now and blog about it because I think that's the only thing that will keep me sane. It would really be sad for myself and my family if I go mental on the next cashier that sees me and says, "You look like you're due any day now" and then I say, "No, I'm not due until the end of January" and they ask, "Are you having twins?" and I say, "No" and they just smile. Blogging could save my life here!
When I went on Zoe's field trip, there was another woman who was pregnant there as well. I saw her the next day at the service counter of our grocery store and we talked briefly about the field trip and then I asked her when she was due to have her baby. She said the middle of January. When I told her I was due at the end of January, she laughed and said, "You're kidding?!"...I thought you were due any day now...are you having twins?"...Maybe I should just start telling everyone yes, I am having twins or I'm due, that would be going against the honesty lesson we just had in Family Home Evening. (sigh)
Not only do I look huge, but people are convinced that the baby has dropped, even after I explain that I always carry low. I look like I'm going to pop any they say.

I just had a short coversation with Eleanor about going to the doctor to hear the baby that's in my tummy. She asked about the baby in her baby in her tummy...She wondered if Zoe or Emily came out of her, Zoe was in mommy's tummy, Emily was in mommy's tummy, Eleanor was in mommy's tummy, Zach was in mommy's tummy, and now Madison is in mommy's tummy...Eleanor ~ "But I don't want to be a baby in mommy's's dark in there!"

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

My Dad

About Me:
Tell about your father...
I spend a lot of time with my mom now, but as a child I spent more time with my dad. He would get out of work in the afternoon before my mom would get home, so he's the one I remember getting dinner ready and being at home the most. My dad would be there at my sporting events and he coached one of my baseball teams. In high school, I remember pretending to be embarrassed when one of my friends announced that my dad was coming, but I was happy that he was there and always showed interest in what I was doing. He always tried to teach me new skills such as cooking, gardening, and car maintenance, but I never took much interest in learning these things, which I regret. I have learned how to cook and I enjoy cooking, but a gardener and car repairer I am not.
My dad has the ability to talk to anyone, an ability I did not inherit. This social trait of his makes him a great missionary because he easily talks about the gospel in a conversation (at least he makes it seem easy). I did inherit his healthy habits such as eating good foods and exercising. We enjoy our treats and desserts, but that is balanced with healthy food. My dad is not a spender of money and I think I get my good sense about money from him.
I look more like my dad with dark hair, skin that tans easily, brown eyes, and some native american features.
My dad is not a patient man, but he is very kind, compassionate, helpful, and loving. He loves to read and learn new things. He loves to be with his grandkids and to teach them new things. He gets involved in their activities just as much as he did with me and my sister. He is willing to watch my kids when I need him to and I appreciate that.
I love you, Dad.

Monday, December 04, 2006


I finally found Emily's library book at the bottom of the stuffed animal box. I brought it in to school for her and she was very happy to be able to get a new book. It's one of her favorite things about Friday. I was very happy that I found it and didn't have to pay for a lost book!

We have a first Saturday of December tradition and we participated in it this past Saturday. We go to a Creche exhibit at our stake center in the afternoon. The theme this year was "city sidewalks" and the cultural hall and other areas of the building were made to look like store windows. It felt like we were window shopping as we looked at the different nativities. A lot of work went into the exhibit and it looked great! They have a children's area in the primary room that the kids love to go to. They have a reading area, a dress-up area where you can pretend to be part of the nativity, they decorate sugar cookies and make crafts. It always takes awhile to get our kids out of there when it's time to leave. This year they had the primary children draw pictures of what they thought the nativity looked like, and the pictures were displayed along the wall in the hallway leading to the children's area.

Zoe's picture...

Emily's picture...

When I get my kids out of the children's room, we get in the car and head to the parade of lights, which isn't far from the creche exhibit. Matt went home with Zach this year and my mom and I went to the parade with the girls. It is always cold, so we bundle up~snowpants, boots, winter coat, hat, scarf, mittens, and we always leave the parade frozen, but it is my favorite parade and the girls enjoy it too. It's fun to see the floats, trucks, Harleys, tractors, and dancers decorated with Christmas lights. It's always a long parade because the dancers and floats stop in the middle of town to be judged. The people dance and sing, which is fun to watch, but we get to a point where we're cold and tired and we want the parade to end, but we just can't leave until we see Santa go by.
We wanted to go to a restaurant to eat after the parade, but the few places we stopped at were very busy, so we ended up at Burger King (which is where Zoe wanted to go in the first place so she was very happy). It was nice to sit down and relax, get warm, and eat. We survived and enjoyed another year of our tradition :-)

Friday, December 01, 2006


My mom is doing a lot better. She was up and around when I went over on Wednesday, so we played a game of phase 10 and visited. I think it's safe to say the worst of it is over.

I went on a field trip with Zoe yesterday to the Hudson Museum where we learned about Native Americans in different regions of the United States. The kids got to make a mask resembling an animal, and they watched a movie based on the book "Raven" that was made by local students who live on Indian Island. Zoe said the best part of the trip was the movie.
Being on a bus full of 2nd graders made me appreciate the quiet of just two children at home :-) It took about an hour each way to travel to the museum and back to the school. I keep thinking of the Grinch and the noise, Noise, NOISE! It didn't help that I had been awake since 4am when Eleanor woke up and then woke up Zach. They were playing and having a great time. Eleanor finally went back to sleep at some point, but I don't think Zach did and I didn't either.

My little girl who always needed me to play with her is growing up...

Yesterday afternoon while Zach and Eleanor were busy, busy, busy, I looked over to see Zoe quietly listening to music while looking at a toy magazine. I caught myself wondering why all my children couldn't be that good and quiet! But it wasn't always that way with Zoe, and before I know it Eleanor and Zach will grow up too. (sigh)

Here is a picture that Eleanor drew and the letters she wrote the other day.

It's time for me to go hunt for Emily's library book. Today is her library day and we could not find her book anywhere this morning before she left. It's a board book that Eleanor and Zach like to look at it, so it could be anywhere!