Erica online

Saturday, December 30

I'm it...But Not for Long...

I got tagged by Rebecca. I have to say 5 things that people might not know about me and then tag other people. So I'm it.

1. When I was younger I was very skinny and my big brother used to make me cry by calling me Skeletor. He was the bad guy in He-Man. (now I would love to be called skeletor :)

2. Because I love to shop people think I'm a spender, but I'm actually a saver. What I love about shopping is finding bargains, its a game to me and I am actually good with money.

3. I am allergic to band-aids. (adhesives make my skin break out in hives)

4. In grade four I beat up a boy and made him cry because he was teasing my cousin.

5. I can eat an entire jar of dill pickles in one sitting. They are like candy to me. Pregant or not.

Now I tag:
Cindy (because she needs to update her blog)
Erica at 2:13 PM

Saturday, December 23

Family Photo 2006...

We were too busy this fall to get our family photo done so I thought I'd share Christmas family photos from the last few years instead. Happy Christmas thoughts to all!

Christmas 2000 - our first family Christmas photo, DJ, me and Rebecca (in-utero). I was expecting Rebecca so we thought we'd start a tradition of family photos at Christmas!

Christmas 2001 was our first "official" Christmas family photo since we had our little princess with us. I was so excited about dressing her up for the photo!

Christmas 2002 - The one big change from Christmas 2001 is that we added a kid. As indicated by their dresses, we thought they made a nice matching set!

Christmas 2003 we did not have a family picture taken as I was caring for two babies, and I looked like a hag. I avoided all cameras during this stage but by the next fall, I was feeling more sane and I asked for Lynne to come take some family shots, she graciously agreed.
This beautiful photo was taken by Lynne.

Here we are in front our itty-bitty Christmas tree in 2004.

This is our family on Christmas 2005.

Christmas 2006

Since we did not have the time to get our family picture done this year (so much for traditions), I commissioned our resident artist Rebecca to do one of our family. It is amazing how blonde we all look this year!

Erica at 10:24 AM

Thursday, December 21

Creating a Monster...

I have a friend who is a hairdresser on Corydon. She cuts the girl's hair. The other day after Rebecca's hair cut, she asked Becca (not me) if she wanted her hair straightened.
Rebecca was thrilled. Of course she loved it, and asked if I could do that to her hair everyday.
My friend smiled this huge grin and said, "Oh look! I've created a monster!" Colleen was thrilled with herself. Clearly, she is evil.

Here are some pictures of Rebecca with her straight hair! We took pictures because this service will NOT be provided everyday!

She is very happy with how long it is getting!

Erica at 12:48 PM

Tuesday, December 19

Mentalness Setting In...

It could be the preparations for Christmas, or trying to tie up all the loose ends at work while doing the extra mommy stuff with my kids (concerts, gatherings etc) but I think my mentalness alert button is going off.

Blogger keeps underlining the word "mentalness" in red. I wonder why. Any ideas Cindy?

In my state of red-alert mentalness here are my thoughts at the moment, in no particular order. (If I ordered my thoughts, they wouldn't be mental now would they?)

1. Hole punchers are cool. And useful. Handy, useful, cool.

2. I dislike chocolate a great deal and people keep giving me boxes of chocolates. Perhaps I look very PMSy. (PMSy also underlined in red)

B. Advil is a great way to spend an hour or two.

5. Why do we have CDs now? What was wrong with cassette tapes? They made a neat sound in the case when the tape jiggled around. Surely that was reason enough to keep them.

IV. I didn't finish writing my Christmas cards yet, I wonder who really cares. Is there someone out there waiting for a Christmas card from me, feeling rejected because it hasn't arrived yet or am I the only person who cares whether or not they arrive at their selected destinations before Christmas? I think the reason I send them is to say "hi" or "I'm thinking about you" so if it arrives on Boxing Day, then I'm still spreading joy, its just not Christmas joy anymore, its Boxing Day joy, but its still joy so why don't I stop stressing out already?

R. I am amazed at the number of people who have asked my kids what Santa is bringing them for Christmas. Strangers, people I work with, its nuts. Since I'm not huge on the whole Santa thing, we've never really done it so my kids are kind of put off by it. They say, "Um....what I would like for Christmas is..." but they don't believe in Santa so they think its weird that adults do. Not that I think people who let their kids believe in Santa are wrong. I just think, they are gonna find out anyway and then they'll be mad that I lied so its better to believe in real people giving them gifts because they have real relationships with real people that love them than the santa thing. That's my stance. Besides, the whole chimney thing was just confusing my kids. Rebecca started crying at the idea of having a fire on Christmas in case we burn Santa.

4. And my final disconjointed thought of the late evening, Jane Austen is a great writer. I am reading Emma right now and I love her writing although my grade 11 English teacher would have made her correct some of her run-on sentences. She made me. If I knew better I would have brought in a copy of Sense and Sensibility and pointed out some of the paragraph-long sentences in that CLASSIC novel. That's right. I am scarred by having had to correct my run-on sentences.
There. Now I said it. Now I can move on. I can use long sentences again.
Jane Austen did it. Why can't I? I can't think of a long sentence. But if I did, I could use it.
It would be okay. Trust me.
Erica at 11:32 PM

Monday, December 18

My Brother's Blog...

My big brother (who I blogged about the other day) has now started a blog.
He has posted a bunch of pictures of my cutie-faced nephews, and my beautiful niece.

Check Dwight out!
Erica at 3:37 PM

Sunday, December 17

Wonderful Time of Year...

We have been busy, busy, busy...but for all good things. Entertaining, sliding, baking, enjoying family. Its all good.

One more week of work and then its just party, party, party.
Christmas is my most favorite time of year.
Erica at 3:42 PM

Tuesday, December 12


For the last week or so, Isabella has been a living imitation of Emeril (from the cooking show).
She says "Bam!" all the time. She is Emeril's mini-me.

"I was just working away on my toys and then BAM! my room was clean."
"I ran in the gym and BAM! my tummy got hungry."
"What if Rebecca was riding her school bus and BAM! the bus broke?"
"The music came on and BAM I just started to dance!"

The weird thing about this?
She has never seen that show so I have no idea where all this BAM! came from!
Erica at 11:18 AM

Friday, December 8

Have You Seen This Man???

I have! I talked with him yesterday at work. It was a muffled conversation at best, since....well, you know!
Erica at 7:12 AM

Thursday, December 7

Big Brother to the Rescue...

As a young girl I spent many hours worrying about my big brother's salvation. To begin with, he didn't like going to church. I know, that is horrific enough but there is more! He wanted to stay home and watch cartoons, surely his soul was in mortal danger.
During the hymn singing he would mouth the words as an opera star or a rock star. He made me giggle which was sinful in itself. Sometimes he would change the words in the hymns to naughty words like poop, fart and burp. I needed to double my prayer time where he was concerned.

I feared my brother was headed for the great lake of fire in H-E-double hockey sticks. Surely God did not approve of us laughing in church! What's worse, I could no longer attend saturday choir practise without giggling. My big brother had pointed out the fact that the choir leader lady had a double chin that jiggled when she hit the high notes. It was true. It really did, and it was hilarious.

If you think those transgressions were not bad enough to warrant my distress, he had other sins that put his soul in mortal danger. He liked to play at the arcade. If that wasn't a den of iniquity I didn't know what was. My ten year old mind was awash with torment for my big brother's salvation. His distain for the church made me fear for his life.

While I focused on his activities during the sermon, his attendance at choir practise I missed a few clues that might have set my mind at ease. The fact that he would take home any lost soul and love them when no one else did not clue me into the state of his heart. I failed to notice his loyalty to friends and family, and his soft-hearted care for broken people, and animals. He didn't talk like the people at church but many times he acted like Jesus.
If I hadn't been so caught up in church rules, I would have saved my young mind alot of anxiety.

This past year has been a difficult one for me where church is concerned. I find myself questioning many things about the church. I am questioning the teachings I have heard since I was a child, some of the stuff I heard as an adult, my own hyposcrisy and religious thinking, as well as the place of the church as an institution. I have talked to quite a few different people about these issues and concerns, and the responses have been varied.

Some people said this is as good as it gets, just deal with it. Others suggested I step out, get myself put back together and then get with the program. Still others said, follow God not the church, don't worry about what's wrong with it, just leave it alone. A great many more said, I'm as confused as you are, don't ask me. Finally after a year of different answers, none of which left me feeling any less confused I had a long talk with my big brother.

He made the most sense of anyone I have talked to in a long time in regards to church. He was patient with my frustration, graceful when it came to failings of the church, and understanding about what it is I want from church. He explained the humanity of church and challenged me to be gracious and forgiving. If the church is made up broken people, how can we put together broken people, mash it all together and expect something whole to emerge? My expectations did not make sense. He explained the importance of vision, and unity and the dangers of conformity.
He did not judge me, or lecture me or defend the church even once. He wasn't concerned about the church, he was concerned about me. He didn't worry about how the church would look at the end of the conversation, he listened to my perspective and went straight to the heart of the matter. He made the most sense of anyone I've heard talk about the church in the past year.

After our conversation, I thought back over my perception of my "naughty" big brother as I was growing up. I began to wonder if his frustration with church wasn't due to his "sinful ways" but rather just him being ahead of his time, and recognizing things that weren't right to begin with. He was just living out the truth as he saw it, and he wasn't listening to the words because he was focused on how people were living their lives. He was never going to make it in the church-world but he sure acts a lot like Jesus.

Isn't it just like God to use a "naughty" boy who hated going to church to bring peace to the heart of a religious little girl who thought she had it all together?
Erica at 10:08 AM

Tuesday, December 5

Simulacrum of Mommy...

The other day I told my girls that if they gave me 20 minutes to get the kitchen in order, I would bake cookies with them. It was a deal, they would work on a craft while I cleaned.

As I cleaned, they kept running into the kitchen saying, "Don't look mommy! Its not done yet!"
They set up a barricade so I wouldn't come see what they were doing until it was done.
Isabella put her Dora doll on the stove and said, "keep your eyes on Dora and don't look!"

After half an hour, the girls had me sit down and close my eyes while they presented me with my gift. It is a simulacrum (yes, its a real word!) of mommy! You can't tell from the picture but she is about 4 feet tall, and I think she is absolutely lovely. They did it all by themselves, and I don't think I've ever looked so beautiful! Oh yes! That is my magic wand that I'm holding!

Erica at 11:41 AM

Monday, December 4

V as in Victor...

A conversation I had in the van with the girls. I found it amusing.

Rebecca: Bella, let's do patterns. Like this, baseball - soccer -baseball - soccer -baseball.
Isabella: Soccer - football - soccer - football - soccer - football - soccer...
R: Good! Now I have one. Baseball - Balleyball - Baseball - Balleyball - Baseball...
Mommy: Actually Rebecca, its not Balleyball, its Vvvvvolleyball! With a V-sound! Volleyball!
Isabella: OH! I get it! VOLLEYVALL!
Erica at 8:41 AM

Saturday, December 2

The Nativity...

Last night my husband and I went to see the Nativity. It probably won't
get good reviews from movie critics, these kinds of movies rarely do.
However, I LOVED it.
I thought it brought a lot of humaness to Mary and Joseph. It made me think about things I hadn't really considered before. The context of Roman rule made me understand what a messiah really meant to the Israelites. I'd never considered the wise men in that light before - it really was crazy (and expensive) to travel from Persia to Judea to see a star??? Lots of interesting things I'd never considered before, thank you Hollywood.

We will take our girls to see it this week. There is only scene (right at the beginning) that might not be okay for kids - Herod's soldiers killing the babies- so we'll explain it before hand and maybe cover Bella's eyes. But other than that one part, children can watch the movie.

Quote of the Day:
"There should be another word for orange because it sounds like the other orange. Orange the color and orange the fruit sound too much like the same word. If someone says they like orange, do they mean they like orange the color or they like oranges? You wouldn't know. That doesn't make any sense!"
-Rebecca Anne (age 5)

Erica at 8:16 AM

Friday, December 1

Juicy Gossip...

There are a lot of naughty things I've thought about people in my short and spicy lifetime. However, not many of the really naughty things got said out loud. The times when a stranger was rude to me in a store and I thought, "What a *#*@*!" but I said nothing out loud. Or worse, the times when it wasn't a stranger...

I'm not sure if my silence is a function of Canadian culture or being raised in the church or a bit of both. The idea that its okay to talk about positive feelings, thoughts or impressions has always been a freedom I've enjoyed, and I am grateful for that.

However, the negative impressions of people or situations seem to be taboo. We mustn't tell others what so-and-so said to us, lest we ourselves become guilty of gossip. What is one to do with the nasty things people do and say? How do you process what some jerk said to you, if you are scared of being a jerk by repeating it?
Well, if you're a nice person you forgive and bite your tongue. But don't tell anyone because then you are a gossip. Learn to process it graciously, and better yet, silently.

Don't get me wrong, there is something to be said for "If don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." I'm not condoning Bitchfest 2006 - say everything negative that comes to mind! For every 5 complaints you make you get a free chip for your shoulder! That's not what I'm saying.

I'm saying there should be a safe place to sort out the impact of what other people say and do to us when we can't process it alone. I think the fear of conflict and negative emotions has crippled a lot of nice people that I know. I think when someone (well meaning or not) has said something that has undone a person, that person has the right to speak about it to their friends, without fear of being a gossip.

I think gossip is actually intended for the gossiper to gain attention. Its using information about people or situations to get others to listen. Gossip is not talking about things that have happened to you or how perceive a situation, that's just processing through what you think and feel.

Many people already know this differentiation, and that is good. But for those of us who are figuring it out, and breaking free of the fear of being a it up!
Erica at 1:21 PM