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Christmas 1997

The Ericksons
890 Stevens Creek
Forsyth, IL 62535
(Note, old address!)

Merry Christmas
From the Ericksons!
December, 1997

We love this time of year, especially because it usually means Christmas letters from friends and family.  We enjoy hearing from you and catching up on the years events.  It’s hard to believe that 1998 is quickly approaching!  This year has gone by so fast and been filled with exciting changes for our family.  

In his work with GSE Erudite Software, Ryan took an opportunity to work on a project with Illinois Power this year.  He’s doing analysis of their existing computer systems and helping them install new systems and software.  Instead of having him work in Decatur, Illinois and fly home on the weekends, we decided that we would all move out to the Midwest for a while.  It was quite a pain to box up our house in Lehi and put everything either in the basement for storage or in a truck, but with a lot of help from family and friends, we managed the move.  Ryan started his work out here in August, and looked for a house for us to rent.  We were very blessed to find a house in a nice neighborhood that was for sale, but the owner is letting us rent until it sells (we hope that’s after Ryan’s contract is up). Our house in Lehi is in good hands--rented to family members.  Things really worked out well and we are very happy with the decision we made to move. 

Although we don’t really go for the humid cold or the freezing winds, we are enjoying Illinois and the warm friendly people of the Midwest.  The landscape of Illinois is quite different from the mountains of Utah.  There are a lot of trees, but no hills or mountains.  We see tons of birds out our windows, and there are lots of squirrels and even wild rabbits.  We’ve even seen a few opossums on the roads, but so far no live ones.  Here in Decatur there aren’t any great attractions, unless you really like corn and soy fields; but we are not too far away from quite a few interesting places.  We have been to Springfield, the “Land of Lincoln”, and even eaten dinner with an Amish family.  We spent our Thanksgiving weekend in Nauvoo and had a great time.  We learned so much about pioneer life and what the saints had to sacrifice in making the trek west.  We stopped in Carthage on our way home and went through the jail where Joseph Smith was killed.  It makes church history much more real when you can actually see these places!

It didn’t take long to receive church callings in our new ward, and Paige has been called as the homemaking leader and the chorister for Sacrament meeting.  Ryan has been enjoying going to Elder’s quorum after serving 3 years in the young men’s organization, but starting in January will have the new challenge of teaching primary—the 9 to 11 year old boys!!

Ryan has also been continuing his hobby of electronics (when he has time), and since we didn’t bring any broken VCRs for him to take apart, he’s been building gadgets.  He’s enjoying living in a house that is not his own, so he can ignore all the home improvement projects that could be done if we owned this house.  He is known to say such things as, “Why would I want to do that?  It’s not my house.”

Paige keeps busy with the kids and the house, babysitting, making curtains, volunteering at Cole’s preschool, aerobics class, making new friends, e-mail (superpaige@juno.com) and letter writing, going with the sister missionaries and church callings.  She’s also doing some experimental cooking and finding new and interesting meals without wheat.  Paige did finally win a radio contest the other day (after almost two months of living here), so she feels at home here now.

Cole and Megan, the main focus of our lives, are both doing great!  Cole is now 3 ˝ years old, and is very bright.  He can spell his name both front and backwards (a very useful skill!), and he knows most letters and numbers.  The “ABC Song” is his favorite song, and he can be heard singing it at various times during the day and in many different places (while we sing hymns in church, for example).  Cole has a wonderful imagination, and we often do role play games that start out similar to this:  “Mom, you be Simba’s mom, I’ll be Mufasa, and Megan will be Simba”.  Then he will correct us if we happen to call each other by something other than our assigned names.  He enjoys going to preschool, playing with friends, and playing games on the computer.  We’re also very proud to say he is a big boy now, and doesn’t wear diapers anymore.  He is a great helper and is so nice to his sister most of the time.  We couldn’t possibly do without him!!

Megan is quite an independent thinker, and at 21 months she’s pretty much figured out how to get what she wants.  If she can’t tell us verbally when she wants something, she’ll point and make us guess while she answers “Yes” or “Nope” to our questions.  She loves kitties and doggies and anything soft, and can usually be seen dragging some kind of stuffed animal around the house.  She gets it from her mommy, who also loves animals.  Whenever a dog is heard barking outside, she points to the window or door and says “Doggy?”  She’s an active little climber, and she can wiggle out of a lot of her clothes and most seatbelts.  She doesn’t like shopping carts anymore, and protests loudly when she is forced into one.  Megan is also studying to be an actress, and she’s getting pretty good at it.  If she gets bumped into or touched even a little bit, she says “OW!” very loudly with a very injured look on her face.  She’ll probably win a personal injury lawsuit someday, if she keeps this up.  She is full of surprises and also full of love!  Nothing makes us happier than kisses and “I love you”s from both of our kids.

As we celebrate this wonderful Christmas time and the birth of our Savior, we would like to express our appreciation for all of our many blessings.  We have so many things to be grateful for: our home, family, friends, and the gospel of Jesus Christ.  May your Christmas be warm and full of love, and may 1998 be a wonderful year for all of us!

Ryan, Paige, Cole and Megan Erickson

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Ryan and Paige Erickson, 11381 North Sampson Drive, Highland, UT 84003
(801) 756-8325