October 31, 2007

Fun Memories

The last week and a half many fun memories have been made in our home and we wanted to let you in on a few.

Memory #1 - Just a few weeks past his 5th birthday, our big 5 year old learned how to tie his shoes. If you know him, you understand that whatever he does, he does at 100% - from his emotions, to playing, to learning how to do something new. So when he decided on Friday that it was really time to learn to tie his shoes, that is exactly what he did. I showed him and helped him about five times and then he was doing it! These pics are one of the first times he did it on his own. And believe me, he wanted to do it completely on his own. He would ask me every time we tried it, "Did I do it by myself?" If I said I had helped a little, he would rip it out and start over. We went shopping that day, and I kid you not, he probably stopped 50 times to tie his shoes along with tying them the whole hour there and hour home again. He ties them pretty well now.

Memory #2 - The very next day after our shoe tying mania, that same 5 year old lost his first tooth. Again, once he new it was loose he didn't mess around. He wiggled it constantly until it was just hanging there on Saturday night. I told him if he took a kleenex and pulled it would probably come out. So that is what he did and let me tell you he is mighty proud!

Memory #3 - I finally got the little man started on some veggies the other day. His first taste, green beans. As you can see from the photo, he was not too impressed and after several bites was gagging and spitting. I think it will take a few more tries before he embraces the bean!
Memory #4 - The older boys have been begging to make sugar cookies and we finally got around to it on Monday. What a mess, but what a great time we had! They absolutely loved it. I think it was Noah's first time helping and he was pretty into as he didn't even have time to look up at the camera. They helped me cut them all out and then we frosted them and of course, put sprinkles on them. I couldn't get any pictures of the frosting and sprinkling for fear of leaving them alone with it for more than a second!
The thing with the cookies is, I really did not have time to be making those and making a big mess, but I realized I needed to take the time and enjoy it. No matter what is going on, we need to take time for moments like that with our kids and cherish them. I know they will be gone so quickly and I will look around my kitchen wishing for a little boy to make a mess with. Thank you Lord for reminding me to stop and enjoy the moment!

October 22, 2007

Insight into the Ericksons

1. Who is your man?♥Todd
2. How long have you been together?♥Dated for 1 year, married 7
3. Dating/Engaged/Married?♥ married
4. How old is your man?♥31 years

You or Him
1. Who eats more?♥ Him
2. Who says “I love you” first?♥ It's a toss up
3. Who weighs more?♥ Him, I pray that never changes
4. Who sings better?♥Him as I am self diagnosed as musically challenged, I'm comfortable with that though
5.Who’s Older?♥Him (I had three prerequisites when I was looking for a husband he needed to be older, taller and where bigger jeans.)
6. Who’s smarter?♥Him (In my defense I have been experiencing a lot of brain fog the last few years)
7. Who’s temper is worse?♥ That's a toss up too, but maybe me nowadays
8. Who does the laundry?♥ Mostly me, but he does some too
9. Who does the dishes?♥ Both of us, he is great about doing them after supper
10. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed?♥ When you are looking at it, him
11. Who’s feet are bigger?♥His
12. Who’s hair is longer?♥ Mine
13. Who’s better with the computer?♥Depends on what you are trying to do
15. Who pays the bills?♥Me, he pays the CEF bills
16. Who cooks dinner?♥ Me
17. Who drives when you are together?♥ Generally him because I get really sleepy, but I do once in a while
18. Who pays when you go out to dinner?♥ Him cause his wallet is handier
19. Who’s the most stubborn?♥Me
20. Who is the first one to admit when they’re wrong?♥ Goes either way
21. Who’s parents do you see more?♥ His I think, cause we live closer to them
22. Who named your dog?♥ It would seem we never get to name our own pets, they always come with names :(
23 . Who kisses who first?♥ Both
24. Who asked who out?♥ He asked me out, several times before I said yes
26. Who’s more sensitive?♥ Probably me
27. Who’s taller?♥Him
28. Who has more friends?♥ Mostly our friends are both of ours
29. Who has more siblings?♥ Equal
30. Who wears the pants in the relationship?♥ Him

Feel free to copy and do this yourself, it is fun!

Windows Done!!!!!!

So after several days of hard work, our basement windows are all cut, framed and installed. Meaning phase two of the basement is done! It is so fun to see projects like that finished, and that was a big one. Todd is very happy to be done cutting basement windows for us for many years. He did say though, that he would gladly help out anyone who was planning to do it themselves. Here is the finished project.

My hard workin man

October 20, 2007

A working we will go

Work on the house has been in full swing this weekend. Todd used a friend's backhoe to dig three window wells and has been cutting through the cement into our basement so we can have windows down there for bedrooms. On Friday though he took a break from that and finished putting in all the rest of the windows in our upstairs so now all the new windows in our house are in. He has gotten two of the three basement windows cut, framed and installed so that is very exciting. He has the third one all ready and will finish that this next week. It has all gone pretty well other than getting gassed out of our house. The fumes from the saw were sucked in by the furnace and filled our house. It got so bad the first day I had to leave with the boys. All is well now though. I am so thankful for a husband who is willing and able to take on projects like these. Cutting through the cement is very exhausting work and Todd has done a great job and put in very long hours.

While Todd has been doing the window thing I painted most of our living room and raked around the house. I love how the paint looks ne am anxious to do the last wall. Also, I am going to paint the windows white which I think will look really good against the brown. The boys and I turned raking into a real fun job today. I found a U-clamp and used it to hitch our ATW (All Terrain Wagon) to the back of our lawn mower. Then we would fill the wagon with the leaves and stuff and they would ride on the heap to our dumping spot and back again. At the end of the day we took a ride all the way around our farm. It was a lot of fun.

M y brown paint

Animal pack

Elijah is working hard to catch up with the big bros

The big boys helping Dad dig out window wells

There is a little mud going on here

The hard workin man

M y "work"

October 16, 2007

So as I sit down to write I am at a total blank. I took care of my friend's two kids today for most of the day and another friend's little girl for two hours in the middle of that. Although they were all pretty good and it was a good day, I am quite tired out as they were all under the age of 5. On top of it, Todd was gone all day and as I write this after 10pm, he is still gone. A bit of a long day, but I am not complaining, just explaining my writers block.

The big hunters' retreat out at my in-laws was this last weekend. We had a great time out there and the boys got to run around in their camo and even got to go out with Dad a couple times hunting. Needless to say they were flying pretty high over that. Elijah and I stuck around the Lodge and helped with the meals, at least I helped he just entertained everyone with his smile and all that he has to say about life. (I really think that in a few years I won't be getting in a word around here, and I like to talk!) So if you are my friend you may want to call me a few years down the road just to see if I need an outlet for my 10,000 words:)

On a side note, when most kids go somewhere with a friend they are generally picked up in some kind of car, van, SUV - you get the idea. Our world is a little different. Today our eldest was picked up by our good friends and neighbors in a combine (the same friends whose kids I was taking care of). He picked up him and their little boy and away they went to take care of a field near our house. How much better could it get for a kid? :)

We also had a great time this weekend going to hear Steve Saint speak at a missions conference of a church we work with. Steve is the son of Nate Saint who was killed with 4 other missionaries many years ago in Ecuador. We had the privilege of hearing him speak and meeting him a year ago at the STEER conference, so it was a real treat to hear him again. I am now reading his book The Great Omission which talks about where we have gone wrong in missions. He discusses how we need to be training up nationals to reach their own people in their own way rather than making them dependent on people from the outside or trying to westernize them. Should be good.

Elijah figured out right away how to use a cup

He can sit for a few seconds completely on his own, still pretty tippy though

Hear are my future hunters

Combine pickup

And they're off!

Noah was pretty into the twain this afternoon

October 9, 2007

Lots to Say

Lots has been going on around here. Just over a week ago we were able to visit my parents in MN and tons of celebrating our big 5 year old's birthday. We spent time with my sister and her boys, my brother and his family, my grandparents and many other relatives. If you want to see pictures of the good times check out them out here or here.

The birthday celebration carried on all week as his birthday was Wednesday but we didn't celebrate around home till the next Sunday. Sunday we went swimming with a bunch of friends and had cupcakes. The kids all had a blast! We went to a pool that is literally bath water warm so that was really fun. This birthday was so fun because he was so into it. My parents gave him a Lightening McQueen remote control car and he must have told them 10 times while at their house that he "always wanted this!" It was so sweet. Then we gave him a Cubs jersey shirt with his last name and on the back a "5" because it was his fifth birthday. We also gave him baseball pants. To say he was excited would be an understatement. All the rest of the day he kept coming up and telling me how he really liked those clothes. That much excitement sure makes it fun.

This weekend we had the opportunity to go to a missions conference for STEER, Inc.
We look forward to this conference every year and once again it did not disappoint. At the ladies lunch I was able to listen to Marylin Laszlo and then again at a seminar right after that. She was Amazing! I thoroughly enjoyed her and what she had to share. Also at the conference we had the privilege of hearing Woodrow Kroll from Back to the Bible and Steve Douglas, president of Campus Crusade. We heard some of the most amazing stories and some great challenges. Next year we were told K.P. Yohannan from Gospel for Asia will be the main speaker. He wrote the book Revolution in World Missions. We are reading right now and I have been told be ready to have your world rocked.
Steve Douglas talked about how God is stepping it up and big things are happening with the Gospel around the world. He shared about a team of Jesus film people out in the middle of nowhere in a jeep in Africa, I think. They were going along when a man jumped out and started yelling things to them rapidly. He told them they were the ones. He said he had a dream about people who looked exactly like them, in a jeep that looked exactly like that one and God told him they were going to come and tell him the truth. They went to his village and showed the film and the entire village was saved.
He told of a little 8 year-old girl in another country, whose father died a very medically expensive death. Then the crooked uncles basically took everything from the mother and her kids. The mother got very ill and the girl prayed to all her gods but of course nothing happened. She went to the doctors but they would not help her because she had no money. She took the only thing of value that she had, her mother's bracelets and asked an uncle to sell them, he just took them. She then heard about the Jesus film people coming to her town and she knew she had heard the name of Jesus so she went. She watched the film and in her 8 year-old mind thought if that man can heal all those people he can heal my mother. So she put her faith in Him and then went home and told her mother what she had done. Then at 8 years old, she prayed all night for her mom. Her mom had been dying, the next morning she was totally fine. They went to the Jesus film people and asked them to come to their home and show the film. Everyone in the family, including the crooked uncles were saved.
He told stories on a bigger level too but I won't tell them all. Big things are happening and thousands of people are being exposed to the Gospel and being saved. He told us three things I won't explain in detail but they were astounding, ask me if you want to know more. He said at Amsterdam 2000 all the leaders of the major ministries around the world met to discuss the unreached peoples of the world. Within a smaller group several leaders were discussing the specific number of groups left and the number of languages that don't yet have the Bible. They listed the three major barriers to reaching these people and listed them as illiteracy, time in translating and unity. He went on to tell us how all three of these are basically no longer an issue and the gap is narrowing to all people being reached. Every year this group has met working on these problems and Steve Douglas has witnessed this himself as a part of the group. A man has developed a program that can take illiterate people and have them ready to lead others and be pastors in a very short amount of time without ever learning to read. These people have amazing memories and can learn and teach from 40 Bible stories without ever reading them. He said illiteracy is no longer an issue. He said Wycliffe used to need 13 years to take an unknown language and make a Bible for them. Now someone has developed a program that after they know just a little bit of the language, they plug that into this computer program and it translates the rest of the Bible. Wycliffe is saying it takes only 2 years now and dropping. Then he told a story of two very different organizations willing to unify and partner together despite being on very different ends of the spectrum. All of this was very fascinating and way too much to take in. So sorry for dragging on so long but we took in so much and there is so much to share.

Birthday swimming party
The air powered rocket he got that shoots 120ft in the air. Amazing!!!!

Becoming quite the climber he started on doorways, then moved to trees

Hanging out at Grandpa and Grandma's

Proudly wearing the baseball clothes