Thursday, August 30, 2018

Fairwell party

Living in England was one of the greatest blessings of our live.  We will miss all these faces more than words can express.  We love our UK friends...

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Ypers, Belgium

Josh's had visited Ypers a few years back and has always wanted to take the family back to see it, so on our way back from Caleb's track meet, we took a small detour and spent the day exploring the city and all the historical sights in the area.  During WWII, most of the city was tragically destroyed.  They have rebuilt the city to look like it originally did.  Pretty impressive, huh?

You can't come to Belgium, without having a Belgian Waffle! 

My favorite part of Ypers.  Every night since WWII they have held this ceremony in the same location.  EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. 

It's always fun to run into friends in random places through Europe.  This trip we ran into Caleb's friend, Natalie, and her family. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Skiing in the Alps

Even though we’re not big skiers, hitting the slopes in the Alps has been on our bucket list ever since we moved to the UK. This last weekend we finally made it happen. The airport we were supposed to fly into had gotten so much snow our flight was diverted to an airport in Croatia. After a 6-hour bus ride arranged by the airline, we finally made it to our destination. Although, that isn’t how any of us would have chosen to spend our first day of the trip, it was so worth it the next day when we woke up to this winter wonderland. The Julian Alps are so beautiful!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Goodbye 2017

I have lots of mixed emotions about 2017.  At the beginning of the year I had a dark feeling; I knew 2017 was going to be a hard year.  I wasn't sure why, or what would happen but I had a deep sense of dread.  I even told Josh how I felt. Oh boy, was I ever right.

2017 brought the death of our beautiful Lisa.  She is missed more than words can ever express.  She left us so fast.  She was doing so well fighting her cancer and we all thought she would be one of the lucky one's who would be able to beat it, but once she got really sick again, she only lived three weeks, one week short of her son Mitch's wedding.

The year brought the death of my Uncle Cliff.  Although I wasn't close with him, the way he died was terrible and had great impact on his family and my mom.  He lived alone and had suffered a stroke.  While having the stroke he fell down the stairs and laid there for a week before the mailman got suspicious and called the police to check on him.  He lived for three weeks before passing away.

The year brought the death of my dear Grandma Bernklau.  Although grandma was nearly 97 years old, her death was sad as well.  Grandma's whole life she had been scared of death.  In the end she remained scared.  She went five weeks without any food, and nearly a week without water before before she finally let herself go.  It was heartbreaking to watch.

The year brought the death of Josh's cousin Sarah.  She was young, only in her 20's, and had just had her one year anniversary.  They found her dead in her house.  An autopsy showed that she had had an enlarged heart that nobody was aware of.

The year brought the nervous breakdown of my little sister Amber.  Amber who was a fully functioning adult, could no longer take care of herself, was scared of everything, and had to rely completely on my parents.  She nearly lost her job and everything that she had worked so hard to obtain the last 20 years.  It nearly killed my parents as well.

It also brought many many wonderful adventures for our little family.  Through it all, here in England, we continued to remain so blessed.  Our hearts hurt for our family back home, and being away was incredibly painful.  Life sometimes just doesn't make any sense.  So much sadness and so much joy all mixed into one year.

So far I've had no feelings about the year 2018.  I hoping that means it will be a year of peace, healing, and several more amazing holidays as a family.  Goodbye 2017,  I can't say I'm that sad to see you go. Let's end on a happy note with some pictures of my kid's cute "gingerbread house" creations.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Santa Found Us Again!

The magic is still alive in the Erickson household.  Sophie is hanging on to the belief that Santa really does exist.  Of course he exists!  Who else would bring all those presents?!  It really was a great Christmas here even though we had a rough start. Christmas Eve was actually pretty terrible, Josh was sick with the flu and Sam had a migraine so bad he was in tears.  Sam missed our Christmas Eve dinner, but soon afterwards he miraculously was feeling better and able to join us for the rest of the nights festivities.  Josh laid in bed all day but was able to get up and at least be present for Christmas Eve dinner.  Luckily everyone was feeling ok by Christmas morning. And can you believe that this was our 4th Christmas in England?!

Here is a rundown of what everyone got:

Sophia:  Pusheen toys, Bluetooth headphones, a pogo stick, unicorn slippers, puzzles, and art supplies (she didn't get nearly as many art supplies this year, so it wasn't a complete Christmas disaster like last year was).

Sam:  Remote control car, Halo Wars 2 Xbox game, Halo toys, building kits, clothes, 1-year Xbox membership, 1 ounce silver

Caleb:  New coat, metal detecting gear (bag, shovel, magnet etc), clothes

Linnea:  New dress, Instant Pot pressure cooker, Doc Marten boots, Caleb gave me a really nice Christmas decoration, Sophia gave me a flower candle, and Sam gave me a note saying he forgot to buy me a present but loved me.

Josh:  Josh picked out all of Josh's presents this year, which is probably best for us all.  He got metal detecting gear, a Nintendo Switch (he claims this was a family present), clothes