Friday, January 31, 2014

Lynn's Funeral

Yesterday was long, but it was good. The viewing  started at 9:30. I was able to get over there with all of the kids a little after 10:00.  There were a lot of people there waiting in line. It was wonderful to see so many people that I love, and to reconnect with family. A lot of people from Lynn's family came to pay their respects as well. And it was such a testament to Linda that 8 of her siblings made it to the funeral. There is a lot of love in that family.

And I am always surprised to find out when someone reads my blog. Apparently one of Rinar's cousins does. I don't think I had ever met her , but it was funny because she knew all of my kids well and wanted to meet them.  

The viewing went a little over the schedule because there were a lot of people and they all wanted to wish us well. Rinar stood in the line with the rest of his siblings and Linda. There were a lot of tears, smiles, laughs, hugs.

Then the doors were closed and it was just family members. Lynn's brother Einar gave a prayer and then everyone was given one more chance to look at Lynn's body. He looked serene laying there and I felt that he is much happier now where he is in the spirit world than when he was here on this earth, especially these last few years. Death was a blessing for him, as his body was old and very tired and a burden to carry around. I felt the spirit confirm this to me, by the quiet whispering of the Holy Ghost. Lynn is already very busy up there doing the Lord's work.

We are all sad that he is gone because we are going to miss him so much. But death is not a reason to be sad. Lynn lived a gallant and righteous life. He was ready to meet his maker. Now he is where he needs to be.

The funeral service was lovely. I led the opening hymn, "Lord, I Would Follow Thee". Then Noelle started to cry. She really was not sad about grandpa. She was just telling everybody that she was hungry!  Linda talked first and I had to sit in the lobby to listen so that I could feed my baby. Linda explained how they met. It is a cute story. Then she played a piano duet with Rinar. When that was done, Rinar gave the eulogy. I came back inside for that, but didn't stay long. All of the little kids were already pretty restless. Harry was especially restless and asked me about every 15 seconds when it was time to go home. "Mom, I want to go home", "Mom, when can we go home?" Brooke and I were not as prepared as we probably should have been to keep 7 little kids occupied for a long service. 


I was in and out of the chapel trying my best to keep him and Noelle quiet.  It was stressful. But Rinar's eulogy was lovely and then Raef and Zach played a violin/viola duet with Norma accompanying on the piano. They played Lynn's favorite song, "Consider the Lilies".  I was very proud of them. It was beautiful and heartfelt. They even had it memorized. That was probably because I can be a bit of a slave driver.

Aislinn read a beautiful poem that she wrote, and Lani and Nordel spoke for a few minutes. Linda sang an original song with her sisters. Then Lyf gave a wonderful talk that I don't think I will ever forget. He is a master storyteller. I was inspired. He finished up by singing a song that he had written for his dad. And he sang the whole thing without crying. That was amazing!

I was really impressed with how much people loved Lynn. Don't get me wrong, I love him and I am so thankful that I knew him. He has been a fixture in my life. But I realized even more how much of an impact he had on his family. And the most important thing is that all five of his children revere him and love him deeply. I think that really says a lot about him. I hope that I can be like him in the sense that my kids know that I always love them and even if they are struggling I will be their biggest cheerleader and love them no matter what. Lynn exemplified this.

There was a luncheon for the family immediately following the service. And of course, there were funeral potatoes, a Mormon staple!

Rinar was able to spend a little bit of time with his two best childhood friends: Damon and Tyler. A funeral service is a blessing in this way. We can reconnect with the people we love.

After lunch, we headed to the grave site in Hurricane. Linda's brother Richard dedicated the grave and we said our goodbyes. Linda's siblings sang "Aloha Oe'" spontaneously, both at the funeral service and at the grave site. It was very moving.

"When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that when you die the world cries and you rejoice."
~ Native American Proverb
Yes, he certainly did that. 
One of my goals in life is to have a huge funeral. I mean that I hope I have lived my life in such a way that people will want to come to my funeral and celebrate my life, that I made an impact in this world, that I did all that I could to serve God and to serve man. But I especially want a funeral that is full of my posterity and that they will grieve for me and miss me, just like Rinar's dad. It is a worthy goal and I hope I can accomplish it. I will do my best.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Coffin

"I just want to be buried in a pine box under a pine tree." 

This was an oft made request from Rinar's dad to his kids. Amazingly enough, Rinar's older brother Lyf is a guy who gets stuff done and he has the skills to do it. He told his dad that he could build him a box.

And that is what he has done.  Lyf's father-in-law has some property and there were a few felled cedar trees. Yes, Lyf actually milled the planks from the cedar trees on his family's property. I am just blown away. He started working on it in the days leading up to Lynn's death. Rinar was able to help him some with the cutting and planing, but this was really Lyf's labor of love.

Are you blown away? I am!

This is one of the reasons that the funeral was scheduled a week from his death. Lyf needed enough time to finish the coffin. And he did.

In addition, the cost of a funeral is absolutely staggering, especially if you do not have insurance for it. What a blessing for his mother. She has amazing children who will do anything to ease her burdens, including building a 'pine box' to go under a pine tree. The total cost was about $30 for the stain and finishing stuff, instead of $2000 for an impersonal casket.

He carved a love note on the bottom of the coffin. "I made this for you Dad. Love, your son Lyf.

The funeral is tomorrow. There will be a lot of tears shed and love expressed.
Lynn, beloved husband and father, age 70, passed away peacefully in his sleep at home on January 23, 2014. He was born on April 5,1943 in Ruth, Nevada, to Harry Clayton and Erma Anderson Erickson.
While serving an LDS mission in Denmark, he met the love of his life, Linda, who was also serving a mission. They were married in the Laie, Hawaii Temple on December 27, 1968. Their 45 years of wonderful marriage produced 5 children and 22 grandchildren with one great-grand child on the way.
Lynn was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He served faithfully in many callings but the one he enjoyed the most was working with the youth in the scouting program. He was honored with The Silver Beaver award for his devoted time, and all three of his sons are Eagle Scouts.
Lynn enjoyed books and reading and worked as the Reference Librarian at the Santa Clara library. He loved to teach. In addition, he had a beautiful singing voice and participated in many musical performances. He loved the outdoors; hunting, fishing, and camping with his family. He also had a passion for exploring, mining, and archeology with his brother.
We are grateful and blessed for the example he set, the love he shared and the lessons he taught. We will miss him dearly and we know he is with his Heavenly Father.
Lynn is survived by his wife Linda, his children Lyf (Angie) Erickson, Leilani (Jeff) Houston, Rinar (Kelly) Erickson, Nordel (Brooke) Erickson, Aislinn Erickson and his brother, Einar Erickson.  He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Verena and Elisabeth.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 11 am in the LDS chapel at 550 East 700 South, St. George, UT. A viewing will be held prior to the services from 9:30-10:45 at the church. Interment will be in the Hurricane Cemetery under the direction of McMillan Mortuary.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Proud Moments

Saturday was a lot of fun. Rinar took Raef and Zach to the Klondike scouting event on Friday night. I was surprised to see Rinar come back home at about 9 a.m. on Saturday. I was getting ready to go to a birthday party. Rinar was with Zach. Apparently, it was so cold up there that when Zach had to go to the bathroom he was unable to unzip his pants. Poor kid. He was pretty devastated, but I am happy to report that by the time he was home and giving me his report of the unfortunate event, the tears were soon tears of laughter. I am sure that when he looks back on this embarrassing moment, he will get a good laugh from it! Rinar decided to help ease the pain by taking him to IHOP. IHOP makes everything better, right?

So I was on my own with the four little ones. But we made the best of it and headed over to the birthday party for Hutch. He is Harry and Julia's friend. The party was at a cheer gym. There were lots of things to jump and climb on and my kids had a blast.

Hutch's mom gave me the nicest compliment about my kids. She told me that whenever a kid needs help with something, they are always right there to lend a hand. Ahhh. That is sweet. I do have incredibly kind and loving children. They teach me every day how to be better.

Okay, I always post smiling, happy pictures of Noelle, but she has her moments too. She is human after all. Even if she is a 'super' baby.

And these two are close to being professional posers.

Once the party was over, we headed out to Eli's very first basketball game. It was a riot. I enjoyed it immensely. It is pretty much his soccer team with a few extra kids. They did great. They ended up winning by about 30 points! And I couldn't believe it, but Eli scored a basket and got two assists. He was really the only kid out there willing to pass the ball.

I am one proud mama.

4 Months Old

Noelle is now 4 months old. She is a serene, joyful, happy little girl. She loves to smile and watches everyone with great interest.  She is also very cuddly and is now getting on a pretty consistent schedule. My baby sleeps through the night and always wakes up in the morning with a pleasant countenance.

Everyone loves this little girl. And she still has a head full of hair.

Are there any cheeks that get kissed more than hers? I seriously doubt it.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Singing With the Angels

No funeral gloom, my dears, when I am gone,
Corpse-gazings, tears, black raiment, graveyard grimness.
Think of me as withdrawn into the dimness,
Yours still, you mine.
Remember all the best of our past moments and forget the rest,
And so to where I wait come gently on.
-Ellen Terry

I got the call this morning at 7:34 a.m. It was Rinar. It happened. His father has passed out of this world and gone back to his heavenly home.

Rinar spent all of yesterday with his parents. And then he stayed at their house. Linda went to sleep and Rinar stayed up with his dad, giving him pain meds. At 1:00 a.m. he went to sleep. Lynn had labored, uneasy breathing. So Rinar set his alarm for 2:30 a.m. to get up again and give him another dose of pain medication. When the time came, it was very quiet. He was gone.  Between the hours of 1 and 2:30, Lynn passed away.

Rinar had to call all of his siblings to break the news. Everyone came over quickly and once all five children were there, they awoke Linda to tell her. Then they stayed up all night crying, laughing, sharing stories and memories.

Rinar waited until morning to call me. I told Julia first because she was awake in my room. Her little blues eyes got sad and she had a little frown. It was very sweet. Then I told all of my other children. 

Throughout the day, a lot of neighbors and friends stopped by Linda's house to wish her well and offer her their condolences. I got many heartfelt messages of comfort from our friends as well. 

At home, we had a regular old day. But around dinner time, Julia came up to me out of the blue and asked me how long it takes to get to heaven.  She asked that question several times. I guess she has been thinking about him all day.

Linda has asked Raef and Zach to play "Consider the Lilies of the Field" for his funeral service. It was Lynn's favorite song. I heard him perform it many times. He had a beautiful baritone voice.

And now he is singing with the angels.  Rest in peace Grandpa Lynn. We love you so much and know that we will see you soon.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Rinar took the early flight home today. He then headed down to St. George after a quick stop at the house. He was able to hang out with his parents today. He said that his dad mumbles a lot, but he did playfully jab his stomach a few times when Rinar came to greet him. Rinar seems to think that Lynn has some time, but he is definitely not going to get any better. How much time does he have left? How much time does he need?

As for me, life keeps ticking along here. I had made a lunch date with Kristen and Kristin.  We met at Zupas again here in Draper. It was fun to see the ladies and hang out a bit. I then did a quick trip to Home Depot to get pvc pipes in order to make a teepee. Right now we are going through a book about Lewis and Clark. It has always been a date for me in a history book so I am actually enjoying picking up a lot of the details from their expedition. Harrowing.

Raef had a basketball game tonight and I had to take all the little kids because Zach had to go to Boy Scouts. Fortunately, one of the moms held Noelle after she watched me holding her while I was coaching during the first quarter. And it was also a fortunate thing to bring a Nintendo DS. Harry and Eli were neutralized. Then I gave Julia my iphone and she played on it and probably made calls to China. But, whatever. At least she was quietly sitting during the whole game, right? It was a close game, but we lost. The boys missed a slew of easy shots at the end. We couldn't recover, darn it. But I think they had fun. At least I hope they did.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

All We Have is Time

Last week, Rinar's dad was admitted to ICU after a fall at his house. Linda couldn't help him and so she had to call 911. He was intubated and the prognosis was grim. He did this before about 3 years ago and now he is back to where he was, but three years older and more sick than ever. Rinar was in California when it happened and scheduled an earlier flight home. Then he went to St. George to spend more time with his dad.

Then it was back to work again this week. Rinar's dad had stabilized and we were waiting to see what would happen. They sent him to a rehab facility in town and it has become quite clear that he is not getting better. Reality is starting to set it here. 

Lynn is dying.

In the past 24 hours he has gotten progressively worse. Rinar and I have talked about this for many years, trying to come to a place of understanding, this eventuality. And now it is here. His time on earth is coming to an end. You think you can prepare for it, but I don't think you really do.  Death is so final. It will be a long time before we will get to see him again.

Rinar is going to come home early tomorrow again. He is in California once more. He will fly in in the morning and then head down to St. George. 

They have released Lynn from the hospital and sent him home with hospice care. He is still on a catheter and is in a hospital bed. He will probably never walk again.

Rinar is really sad right now. I am sad and I am especially sad for my husband.

What is time?
Is it the autumn leaves that change?
Or the snow that floats from the sky

What is Time?
Is it the air we breathe?
Or the wings that teach 
The new born bird to fly

Who can tell? 
I don’t know
Will we change?
Will we grow?

What is time?
Is it eternity
In heaven
Or just a hope for peace on earth

Where’s the time
Gone in a blink of an eye
But with every blink
a birth

We live
We learn
We love
In time
We give
We yearn
We grow

In time

Time for change
Its time to care
It’s not too late
Don’t despair
Reach inside your heart

To find the joy the love
To share with all mankind
For all we know

All we have
Is time

-Billy Porter

Monday, January 20, 2014

Impromptu Dinner Party

What a fun and spontaneous day today.  I love it when that happens.  Raef had asked me several times if Breken could come here to play. I was able to arrange a sleep over for them.  We went to Orem to get Breken at his basketball game because it is a lot closer than Heber City.  It was just me, Raef, Zach, Julia and Noelle. Rinar had taken Harry and Eli to St. George to visit his family.

Breken was great and they had a nice time. And since today is Martin Luther King Day, there was no school and Saver's was 50% off.  Lindsay and Justin came into town to get Breken and to do some thrift shopping at Saver's. Before they got here, I met Melanie at her Saver's to do some shopping. Then I came back and met them and then we headed to our Saver's: Rinar, Lindsay, Justin, and me.  We did some crazy thrift store shopping. It was great.

And then in the evening, Melanie came over with her little clan and we had an impromptu dinner party. It was 14 crazy kids and 5 adults. The house was bananas and it was just the way I like it. All of those 14 kids are pretty much my kids. I know them all so well and love them so much. And it was hilarious to see Kinley and Lindsay just waiting for me to finish feeding Noelle so that they could hold her. That little girl got a whole lot of love today from a lot of people.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thoughts on Healthy Food

Some times, I just have to laugh at myself and my dingy moments. For instance, tonight. My neighbor Melissa needed help getting some furniture in Herriman. I have a truck and babysitters at my house and didn't mind getting away for a bit. She left her 3 year-old at our house and then we took off. Unfortunately, the furniture was not what she was expecting so to console ourselves she treated me to some food at Sonic.

I am trying to cut down on sugar drastically, so instead of ordering a shake or sugary drink I wanted to get some kind of food item.  And then I actually said out loud, "Hmmm, what is healthy here?"  

Melissa told me I could just close my eyes and pick anything because it was all about the same amount of healthy.  Excellent point, Melissa.  

To carry on with this "healthy" theme, I had my choice of onion rings, tater tots, or french fries.  The clear winner was the onion rings. Onions are vegetables, duh!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

12 Years Old

I don't think I ever really saw it coming. Pow, wham, zap!  These boys are now 12!!!


When did that happen? It was just minutes ago that I was looking at the in their incubators, tubes everywhere, monitors, so tiny and fragile.  And now, they are twelve. I get a little bit weepy-eyed just thinking about it.

And 12 is such a milestone year for them.  On Sunday, they are going to receive the priesthood and will be passing the sacrament this month. They can go to the temple now. They won't be in Primary anymore. And they are becoming more and more independent on a daily basis. I marvel at all of the things they are able to do.

On Monday, we took the kids out for an early birthday celebration because Rinar was heading out of town this week for work. We let them all get shakes at Iceberg. It was a hit. And for the record, Zach got a banana shake and Raef opted for Butterfinger. 

Combining their birthdays with Eli's, we are going to take the family to Legoland in California in February. Rinar made a paperchain and they unwrapped that for their present.  The paperchain helps us count down to our fun trip and gives everyone something to look forward to. It helps to make the trip a tangible thing. 

Yesterday was a regular school day. I did do a history lesson on Lewis and Clark and then I had the boys make red face paint as a relevant activity. Lewis and Clark to paint to be able to trade it with the Indians on their journey. After we took this picture, we realized the red paint didn't come off so easily. So I took everyone to the pool at the Treehouse and after an hour of swimming, all traces of red were gone.

For their birthday today, I let them do minimal schoolwork and then play electronics. It was a big treat for a school day. Electronics are usually a no-no. Then I took Zach to lunch, just him and me. I let him pick any restaurant.  Hence, we ended up at Chick-Fil-A. He spent the whole time talking to me about video games.  It is all over my head. It is almost like he is speaking a foreign language.

Afterward, we went to Walmart so that he could spend his allowance.  It was fun to hang out and talk. He told me that he wants to ride the top 6 scariest rides in the world for his bucket list.  What a crazy kid. I told him I would take pictures, but there was no way I was riding with him.

Raef and I have a lunch date tomorrow. I look forward to it. I think he wants to go to Arby's. He has some coupons. These kids have expensive taste.

Noelle at 3 Months Old

Oh, this little one makes my heart sing. She is so incredibly precious. Noelle is sleeping through the night. She is calm. She smiles. She loves her binkie. And she is starting to discover her hands. It is fun to make a new friend from the very beginning. I am really going to enjoy watching her grow up and to be a part of it.


Eli and B-Ball

Eli is going to play some basketball this year. Last week he had his first official basketball thing. They did a clinic at Albion Middle School to get these 5 and 6 year-olds revved up for their first season. And of course, this kid is absolutely adorable. He has a wretchedly horrible shot right now, but he dribbles pretty good.

The basketball games should be very entertaining.

Let the comedy ensue.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Puddle Snowmen

The start of a new week and a new year and so today, we got back to business.  The kids are back on track with school work and a steady rhythm seems to be returning to our house.  I hope to get everyone settled into a routine of some sort. When you have little children, routines are a blessing.

After dinner, we had a wonderful Family Home Evening. The lesson was on the Holy Ghost and we had a nice discussion about it. I know that they learned something tonight.  I am grateful that I could share my thoughts and my testimony about it. It was uplifting for me.

After the lesson, we closed with a couple of songs. They love to sing, "Once There Was a Snowman".  They all put their hands over their heads and got real tall at the beginning and then 'melted' to the ground.  On the second version of the song, everyone melted really fast. They all collapsed into an imaginary snowy heap.  And they all thought that it was hilarious.  The snowmen were melted by laser beams apparently.  With the third time singing the song, all of my kids stood on the couch and grew really tall and then collapsed quite suddenly and semi-violently to the ground with a thud.  Laughter ensued.  Poor snowmen.  Puddles, absolute puddles.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year's Celebrations

New Year's Eve was a blast. We played games with the Melanie and Jared and their little crew, Leah, Jamie, Michael and Catye and then kept with our family tradition of banana splits. The games of choice were Ticket to Ride Asia, Golf, and Screw Your Neighbor. It was fun to play new games! I loved it.  Leah made some pasta for dinner and Melanie brought split pea soup. Hence, we ate well and partied hard!

The first day of 2014 was a lot of fun also.  We had the pleasure of spending the day with our very good friends Amy and Stan O. and their kids. Rinar served a mission with Stan and that is how we became friends many years ago in Henderson. They saw each other at Stake Conference and then we later had dinner together at their house. Raef and Zach were toddlers and homeschooling was a naive dream for me...and for Amy!  We hit it off immediately and have always stayed close.  She has six children as well. Although I would bet you that they have seven or so. We shall see.

We spent hours talking while the kids played and then went to get some Mexican food for lunch while the kids stayed home and ate Little Caesar's.  Now that we have reconnected, I think we will be doing a lot more stuff with them.

We are blessed with wonderful friends.


Now that I am not pregnant anymore, it is time to get back into project mode. You know how much I love my projects. This one was born out of absolute necessity. My kids had nowhere to put shoes, hats, gloves, and coats. Therefore, their solution was to litter every corner of my living room, dining room, foyer, etc. with their winter essentials.  Grrr....  It was really starting to annoy me. In all fairness to them, the little ones had no chance of hanging up the coats anywhere because it was woefully out of reach.

Hence, I purchased some crates to solve the problem.  Michael's and Joann's sell these beauties, but they are pretty darn expensive for wooden boxes. I was going to have to buy one every week with a coupon until I had six.  This was going to be a big pain but I was willing to do it to save 40%. Fortunately, when I went to Walmart for some other supplies, they were selling them also.  And guess what?  They were at about the coupon price...just a little bit more. I was stoked.  Project time could commence at full speed.

I bought some red craft paint and used some teal I have had for-evah! Then I did a rough, quick paint job. I didn't want it to look polished.

Once everything was roughly painted, I made up a glaze with leftover colors I had lying around.  I wanted brown and luckily, brown is about the easiest color to mix up.  My kids do it all the time!

I painted it on and then rubbed off any excess.

Then after a poly finish, my wonderful husband went to work and hung them in the laundry room. We then added coat hooks to each box, on the side.  This is what we had to do to make it fit in this space. There are a lot of places you could put a hook.  Now all I have to do is find their shoes and coats and gloves and hats.  Wish me luck!

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