Thursday, December 19, 2013

Santa is in the Hood ~ 2013

Last night we enjoyed an evening at the neighbors celebrating the holiday season.  The kids were thrilled when Santa arrived!  We had such a wonderful evening visiting and catching up and watching Santa talk with all the kids one on one.  He gave them kuddos, advice, and then they all got a stuffed animal and a gift!

Yesterday, I spent the day frustrated with all on my to do list.  Everywhere I went things were not going my way.  However, last night we started our evening with a program at our church and ended it with a gathering in our neighborhood.  Seeing the joy in our children's faces and catching up with our wonderful neighbors brought my attention back to what really matters this holiday season, the birth of Christ, family, love, and memories!  God Bless all of you! 

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

The Simple Things

I love this Little snow family. Every year when we take the Christmas stuff out I always smile when I unpack these. I placed them behind my sink in my kitchen and smile multiple times during the day when I see them. These were given to me by one of my very best friends from childhood and still today! Mrs. K made these for me a few years back and gave them to me for Christmas. Sometimes in life it's the simple things. I thought this was appropriate for today since we are having  our first snowy day here! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Impact Academy


This year our school district decided to try a new program.  We were lucky enough to be at the school they selected to try this pilot program.  We were even luckier when AEK were selected to be a part of this new school.  It is called Impact Academy.  Here is the description from the web page:

Impact Academy is program based on the education model that creates a personalized learning environment where all students are taught at their individual level in the areas of reading, writing, and math.  Students and teachers together design a pathway of learning to maximize personal interests and talents.  Integration of content areas will connect all learning to real world problems in the service-learning module. Impact Academy focuses on incorporating three key learning areas, 21st Century Skills, Personalized Learning & Service Learning.

We are off to a great start to our school year.  Jon and I are both enjoying having all three of our kids in this program.  Best of all, the kids are really enjoying being in this program.  I quickly came to realize that as much as the kids are going to be learning in new and different ways to fit their learning style, I as a parent need to open my mind about how to learn and help my kids as well.  The kids first quarter report cards came back last week and as we expected they are all succeeding and exceeding expectations.   We are very proud of all three of them. 

Tomorrow we have our first learning celebration at school.  I cannot wait to help celebrate. The success and accomplishments of Impact Academy.  Big High Fives to Lakeville School District and the dynamic team of teachers who spent many long hours away from their families to design and make Impact Academy a reality. 

RIP Dexter April 30th, 2001 to November 4th, 2013

Today, Dexter made his way to the Rainbow Bridge to meet up with Toby.  Dexter has been struggling with polyps in his ear for a long time.  We just recently discovered that Dexter has been using our living room carpet as his litter box for awhile now.  I am surprised that we did not catch on to this earlier than we did.  Both Jon and I made the hard decision to let him go.  He was not happy at all and we felt it was very selfish of us to keep him here when he was in so much pain. 

We got Dexter back in June of 2001.  We decided to adopt another cat so Toby would have some company when both Jon and I were working such long days.  Toby and Dexter were great buds and we often through out their lives would find them snuggled together.  Someone pointed out to me today that maybe Dexter was failing in health because his life long companion had left.  Thinking  back about it, I bet there is some truth to that.  Dexter had a broken heart.  Someone else pointed out to me that good life that both of our cats have had.  Lots of love for both of them through all the years.

We have three kids that are so sad and it is so hard to say goodbye.  Just this morning as we were all saying our goodbyes to Dexter, we had some great discussion about Dexter and Toby's reunion up at the Rainbow Bridge.  This brought smiles to all of our faces.  I take comfort tonight in knowing that they are back together and both are pain free. 
May God Bless The Erickson Five in our time of Grief.  RIP Dexter Erickson

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pool Project

The Erickson 5 has a big project going on right now.  We are putting a pool in our back yard.  We are all very thrilled for this new addition to our house and we cannot wait until next spring when we can open up the pool and have some fun. 
We went round and round and round about making a decision like this but in the end Jon and I both decided it was what we wanted to do.  The project started just after Labor Day and we should be finishing up with Phase one here in a week or two.  Below are some pictures of our project. 

The day the digging began.

The big boulder delivery.  It shook the house when they dumped them. 

The deck has been removed. 

The pool skeleton is in. 
The liner before it has been sealed.

The rock wall being constructed.

More rock wall.

The new steps.
Concrete being installed.

E and Gracie hanging by the rock wall.

K first dip. 

E's first dip.

Gracie wants to get in.

Gracie running laps around the pool with concrete now in.

E's New Smile

E and K started Orthodontic care this summer! They both needed expander's and E also needed braces. Isn't she cute with her new smile!?!?!
We were lucky enough to have one child that does not need Orthodontist treatments....A! That was a financial gift from above! 

School Pictures 2013

Here are the kids school pictures for Third Grade.  We did no retakes this year.  In K's picture it looks like he is chewing gum but it is actually the expander that he has had in his mouth this summer. 

Ahhhhh....such beautiful children.  They are getting so big and growing up so fast.  I am loving every minute of them right now.  Such AWESOME kids!

Friday, September 06, 2013

First Day of School 2013 Third Grade

It is hard to believe that summer is over and school has started again.  WOW!  That went fast.  The kids are all very excited for the new school year.  Jon and I are very excited as well.  This year the kids will all be in the same class.  They started a new school with in a school where are kids attend and we were lucky enough to have made the cut to be included in this school. 
The school is called Impact Academy.  I can post more about the school later but it is a different way to teach kids.  They will learn and work at their own level and pace as well as do some Service Learning this year.  The classroom is very dynamic and exciting.
So far the kids are very happy with their new gig.  They come home and talk about all the exciting things they have done that day.  They are thrilled with this new furniture and space.  They told me that they have not done any learning yet this year.  I replied and told them that they better start learning or we will have to find a new school.  Then K piped up and said "Mom, we are learning but just in a new way so it does not feel like learning"!  BINGO! 
Jon and I pray that this school year will be a success.  We are hopeful and excited for what is to come and how much our kids will grow. 
Now for that to do list that is a mile long on all the things I need to get caught up on around here.....

Saturday, August 03, 2013

RIP Toby June 7, 2000 to August 3, 2013

Today is a sad day for The Erickson Five....we had to put our beloved cat Toby down. He was a great companion and will be missed by all of us.  
Toby was Jon and my first baby.  We adopted him one month prior to getting married.  He was such a cute kitten and I will never forget when we went to adopt him how he crawled up Jon's arm and snuggled into his neck.  He was a very sweet kitten that had big feet.  He had extra toes on all of his paws which we thought was so cool.  
Toby has been through a lot with us.  The adoption of his brother Dexter, three moves, triplets, and most recently the addition of Gracie Mae to our family.  Toby did not like any of the changes but he did tolerate them.  He was essentially my cat.  He slept by my head most nights and seemed to be my companion.  These past few months both Jon and I have noticed that he was losing some weight.  Then his ear got bad and when I took him to the vet, they said that he had tumors in his ears.  Dexter also has tumors in his ears but seems to be tolerating them better than Toby ever did.  I know in my heart that Toby is at peace and I look forward to reuniting with him in heaven one day.   The hardest part of owning a pet is a day like today. I continue to remind myself that “'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
Alfred Lord Tennyson

Friday, July 26, 2013

Madeline Island Camping 2013

A few weeks ago we were blessed with the opportunity to go to Madeline Island to go camping with some of our friends and neighbors.  As a child one of my best friends growing up had a cabin on Madeline Island and I had been there a handful of times.  It was great to go back and experience it with my own family. 

What an awesome time we all had.  It was such great weather, warm and sunny all day with some rain at night.  Jon loves the rain at night in the tent.  I tend to worry a bit about getting wet but this time I tried to relax and enjoy it.  The bugs were a little heavy this but we did not let that stop us from having a fantastic time. 

The highlight of the trip was cliff jumping.  There was both a high jump and a lower jump.  We all enjoyed jumping off.  The only hard part was that the water was VERY cold so it would take your breathe away when you landed in it but that did not stop us, well at least some of us in the group.  We could have spend all day jumping off that cliff and we already have plans for going back next year. 

The kids even made their own Kids Camp in our group camp site.  They hung out in their own camp and even had their meals in their camp. 

We all joked about our "mini van" line up.  Great time, Great Friends, Great Memories!

Enjoy the pictures!

Summer Camp Rules 2013

This past week the kids have enjoyed spending time at our local YMCA camp.  They participated in camp last year and they loved it so much that we signed them up again this year.

I cannot say enough positive things about this camp.  What a wonderful opportunity for our kids to be able to take party in such a unique experience.  The camp is run by young adults.  These kids are in college and have been through years of training to become camp councilors.  The girls have had some junior camp councilors in training with them this week and have enjoyed it.

The camp offers so many wonderful things.  There is a swimming pool, gaga court, volley ball, play ground, canoeing and kayaking on the lake, fishing, archery, arts and crafts, cook outs, tie dying, many fun camp songs to learn and the kid favorite Black Hole (a black tube slide). The kids are outside all day from 9 AM to 4 PM.  They are happy, dirty, and tired when its time for me to pick them up.

Last night was family night.  It was great to see the camp and all the activities that the kids did all week.  At the end of the night we all met in the amphitheater for counselor and camper introductions. All of the kids had to shout out their names and then each group sang one of the many camp songs.  At the end of the intro the counselors all got up and did one last camp song (the most favorite one) and they all went crazy. 

There was so much energy.  The camp director spoke to all of the parents at the end of the night and explained how important statics show it is for kids to have mentors that are older children as they grow up.  We are so blessed to live so close to this YMCA camp and to be able to send our kids there.  They had an absolute blast and I have been asked over and over and over again this week "Mom, can we go back next year?"  Awesome!

As we were walking out of camp last night all of the counselors were high fiving all of the parents.  When we got down to K's counselor, he asked if I was K's Mom.  When I said yes, he went on and on and on and on about how much they LOVE K.  Of course that is music to a mothers ears and made my night.  K did extreme adventure camp this week that included rock climbing, skate boarding at a very large skate park, a high ropes course through the trees at camp that leads to a zip line, kayaking, and hiking.  I was nervous for him as he is afraid of heights but he was determined to participate.  He has done a wonderful job and he truly LOVED every minute of it.  In true K fashion it will be hard for him to say good bye this afternoon.  He asked if he could go back to camp next week and the week after.   A true sign that he has enjoyed the week.

The girls counselor had equally nice things to say about A and E.  They did Arts and Crafts camp this week and I have enjoyed all of the projects that they have brought home.  They too asked to go back to camp next week!

Awesome!  Awesome! Awesome!