Erickson Family Pic. '17

Erickson Family Pic. '17

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Summer Fun '14

My (Kris's) sister and their Grandma & Grandpa Kemp took our kids and my three nephews to different activities this summer.  They went to Thanksgiving Point, Bridal Veil Falls, Heber Train & The Aquarium.  They had a great time and came back saying they had so much fun and telling me all about the things they saw and did. 

Here's some pic's they took while they were at the various places.

Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, UT.

Bridal Veil Falls & Heber Train in Provo & Heber, UT.

The Aquarium in Sandy, UT.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Facebook Happenings July '14

Facebook Happenings for July '14

Some things you might have missed on facebook.

July 1, 2014
I hate whenever I post something that could cause people to start debating with me (i.e. religious or politically stuff or whatever). I hate confrontation, debating or fighting with people. It only makes me filled with anxiety, sad and stressed and wonder what I did to upset them or hurt or make them want to debate with me. I'm awful at trying to prove a point and probably always will be. I have the facts and remarks in my head, it's just once it comes out of my mouth or in typing it comes out all wrong... I never want to hurt people and I'm always afraid when I make comments like that, that it will hurt them, make them mad, or whatever. It's so fun (NOT) and I know this makes me look like a wimp, which I am. lol
Lois Mullins Clark - Kris, everyone should be able to voice their opinions and feelings in an appropriate way (which you do) without being attacked by others - but I know how you feel, as I have felt the same way many times.-some people just can't seem to accept others feelings without getting offended - and often angry - which I do not understand.... It does seem kind of sad, huh?!?!
Kris Kemp-Erickson - It's true. I'm fine with others having different opinions than me. We don't all have to agree, but why get so upset. But more so for me - I don't want to offend or hurt anyone.
Sarah Johnson - I think you expressed yourself quite well the other day with that healthcare post. Sometimes people get a little too free with their opinions forgetting you are entitled to your own. If I find myself getting too involved, I stop responding because I too start getting upset or mad. I try to remember that people can be more brave about what they will type than what they would ever say to my face.
Kris Kemp-Erickson - Well thanks!

July 2, 2014
Absolutely True!

July 4, 2014
Happy 4th of July everyone!!! Thank you to our troops (past, present & future) for your service. Freedom isn't free, so thank you very very much!

July 8, 2014
Just read the new J.K. Rowling's article about Harry Potter. Makes me wish she would do a new series now that they are older and raising families of their own. Plus another series of what happened before Harry's parents died or up until their deaths.

July 10, 2014
Yay Garth is coming back. I'm sooooooo excited!!! He's my favorite country singer of all time.
Megan King - Can't wait! This right here is why I love Garth so much.
Kris Kemp-Erickson - I know what you mean, he’s awesome!

July 12, 2014
Had a great time at the Scottish festival!  This was mine and the kids first time, we had a great time.  Didn’t see any of Jason’s line - MacDonnald, which was too bad.
Mitchell Francis - I finally found a Scottish tie in for the Francis clan. We're from the Stewarts.

July 16, 2014
I love the look on the other owls face. Lol

July 17, 2014

July 24, 2014
Happy 24th everyone, hope you all have a wonderful day!
Jill Baggiore - Happy 24th too!!
Kris Kemp-Erickson - Thanks!

July 27, 2014
Just had some sweedish meatballs/rice for diner and than for dessert - pink lemonade ice cream pie. Yummy, I love love love both of them!
Emc Faris - I love your pink lemonade ice cream pie yummmmm .. I miss it
Kris Kemp-Erickson - Why thank you, if you want the recipe I can send it to you. :o)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sydney July '14

Sydney had a very nice month this month.  She really liked celebrating the 4th & 24th of July.

Here's some pic's we took of her this month.

Playing at the park.
A drawing she make in church.
 Riding carnival rides at the Spanish Fork festival.

Caden July '14

Caden had a great month this month.  He really liked celebrating the 4th  & 24th of July.

Here's some pic's we took of him this month.

Playing at the park.
A drawing he colored in church.
 Riding carnival rides at the Spanish Fork festival.

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Letter to My Future Son

I found this on the internet and I really enjoyed reading it.  I hope to have my own son read this someday.

A Letter to My Future Son
Posted by Charles Clymer on Sat., Mar. 16, 2013

Dear Son,

If you're reading this, you are now set to embark on a journey into that wonderful, stressful, often-sticky phase we call "young adulthood".

I want you to know that my love for you, my personal stake in your existence, could never be adequately measured.

As you have grown over the last 18 years, all I have ever sought to do is give you the best possible start on happiness in life and to respect and love others as equals.

You are a man in our society, and with that, many will expect certain things of you. There will be a clash of definitions of gender and conformity, occasional explosions of insecurity and hatred, and those social fireworks will always take place overhead.

There will be times when you look to the stars for inspiration only to find their glittering, inspirational brilliance is clouded by the haze of bigotry and aggression associated with our gender.

The smoke from those hateful, flashy embers are momentary; they will fade into the quiet of the night.

But those stars, those brilliant, enigmatic points of light that guide our way, will remain long after the smoke has cleared, long after me, long after you, and long after the final moments of your legacy and that of your children and their children.

Those stars--touch points of character--are the closest we will come to visualizing eternity in life. They are steady and seemingly boundless with strength and glow.

I have given my greatest effort in this life to constructing the constellations of your night sky. They are not perfect, but they are the closest I have come to defining what it means to be a human being and in our culture, what it means to be a man.

I came to the conclusion, long before you were born, that I would be myself. I love my father for the values he taught me, but I decided that my masculinity was my own to define, not to be shaped by expectations of bravado or aggression or a lingering, insecure craving for power to hold over others.

I decided to do what makes me happy and to love others in that pursuit, and if that didn't fit the definition of "manhood" in the eyes of some, that would be their problem, not mine.

You should never be ashamed of masculinity, but you should never fall into the cultural trap of using it in oppressive ways, either.

And you should never be ashamed of femininity; a person's preference of gender or identity or orientation does not define their value.

The man who wears a dress and heels has just as much strength and potential and character as the man who embraces traditional masculinity. The man who cries and sings and dances and loves out loud has just as much worth as the man who is quiet and unemotional.

Women are your equals in every way. Those who identify as women are your equals, too.

Your friends, your role models, your leaders, none of them should be defined by gender in your eyes but by character and integrity.

Always respect their boundaries. Society will tell you to seize what's "rightfully yours", but know society is wrong. The women around you, on the bus or in school or at work or at home or in a dark alley, are never yours to take or harass, nor should you ever permit others to take or harass them, either.

Rape and sexual assault are always wrong and is always the fault of the predator, not the victim. Don't allow society to tell you it's fine to be a predator or sexist jerk who makes women feel uncomfortable. You're not an animal; you're an amazing human being. Respect yourself as one by respecting women.

Because as equals, they deserve just as much happiness and love and respect that I wish you to realize in this lifetime. They deserve to make their own choices in life. Never seek to make those choices for them.

Never prey on those weaker than you, but be sure to respect their strengths and wishes, too. They may not need your protection, but they do need you standing next to them in times of adversity.

Always stand up for the rights of others, even if it means a sacrifice on your part that will go unrecognized.

But never let yourself be preyed upon, either. You have a right to safety and decency and respect and opportunity. A person, no matter who they are, who seeks to hurt you should be met with backbone and resolve.

You're going to make mistakes. In fact, you're going to make a lot of them. And that's good because making mistakes is the only way you're going to learn how to be successful and happy.

Own those mistakes. Prize them as life's trophies. Be mature and classy in defeat. Be quick to apologize and make amends when you've done wrong. Not only will you grow, but people will love you for it.

Most of all, know this: no person ever ended up losing who made sure others were winning. You can never go wrong with putting service to others before self.

I love you, and I'm proud of the person you've become.


A Letter to My Daughters

I saw this post on facebook and really enjoyed reading it.  I thought this was something very good for my daughter to read, but also my son as well.

A Letter to My Daughters:
On Respecting Boys
July 23, 2014 By Shawna Morrissey

To my dear daughters:

Years ago your father and I went on a trip.  At the time we had only your oldest brother and sister, and they were very young.   When we were heading home and in the middle of nowhere, we ran into a blizzard. The sun went down and, as it grew dark, both children began to cry. Rather than crying themselves to sleep, they grew more and more agitated until they were frantic and sweaty.  We needed to comfort them. We also needed to get safely home through the dangerous storm.

I climbed into the back seat of our little green car. I talked to your brother and sister. I stroked their faces. I sang them songs. After some effort, they drifted off to sleep. When all was finally quiet, I remember peeking around the seat and being surprised by how fast the snow was accumulating on the windshield.  While I was taking care of the very special people inside the vehicle, Mike had been concentrating on seeing where we were going and keeping us safe through treacherous conditions on the outside.

I remember this experience vividly because, for the first time, I recognized how much we all depended upon your father.  And through the years, through many storms, his spiritual sight has kept our family safe.  I am so grateful for the influence of this good man in my life.

I have seen women raise children alone. I’ve seen these same women succeed in the workplace. They have done it all, so to speak.  But I suspect if you asked them, they would tell you it is a difficult and lonely road.

My girls, I hope you know how lucky you are to have a father in your life.  A father who reads to you. Who gives you Eskimo kisses. Who is proud of you.  Who is imperfect, but keeps on trying.

I want you to be grateful not only for your father, but for all the good men and boys in your life. They, like you, are receiving mixed-messages about their place, their purpose, their value. So much in this world has the potential to confuse you, but among your feminine attributes are intelligence and intuition.  I hope you will use those gifts to discern between the significant and the superficial, between truth and deception. And I hope that you will learn to show the same level of respect to boys that you desire them to show to you.

Competition vs. Cooperation
Most discussion about gender these days is competitive rather than cooperative.   I want you to have confidence in who you are.  Don’t be intimidated by anything you hear. You are in no way “less than” boys!  So please do not shortchange your best qualities in order to compete with theirs.

Of course men and women should receive equal professional opportunities and societal advantages.  But the fact is that men and women are NOT the same.  We are different in form and function. Beautifully different. Our association is less like a math equation and more like pieces of a puzzle.  God designed beautiful differences in our natures so that we would fit together in harmony and synergy.

I hope you will recognize, appreciate and honor gender differences. Sometimes we, as girls, are tempted by pride to declare, “Anything you can do, I can do better.”  The truth is that we do have the ability to multi-task, adapt, and quickly learn new skills. If our purpose is to out-do boys, we might succeed. But to what end? And at what cost?

Our quality of life is enhanced not as we prove our strength and capability, but as we improve our relationships. A scale to measure power will ultimately harm relationships. What we really need is sincere concern for one another. What we really need is mutual respect.

Independent vs. Incomplete
Some will tell you that you should be independent. And yes, you need to become as prepared and capable of independence as possible. But the truth is, alone, you are not complete.  And neither are boys. This is true individually and it extends to society at large.  God designed us to be dependent upon each other for wholeness. The divine pattern is demonstrated by yin and yang – opposites interacting to create a complete and balanced whole. Because we are connected in this way, contempt for either the masculine or the feminine is self-destruction.

We often express concern for adverse messages being sent to girls. I am likewise concerned about destructive messages being sent to boys these days, not the least of which is that they are expendable. That we may want them around occasionally, but we do not need them. Everyone longs to be needed. In many ways, boys are more romantic than girls. They hope to be a knight in shining armor. If we set out to prove we don’t need them, we strip away some of the motivation and joy in their lives. And we make our own road lonely, difficult and incomplete.

Unique Challenges Faced by Boys
This world is a difficult place for women. An even more accurate statement is that this world is difficult for everyone. As a mother, I think often about what the future holds for my children and I worry a lot for your brothers. In many ways it feels as though they are being set up to fail.

Generally speaking, boys today are unsure of their purpose.  In days past, they had very clear societal expectations. They were the hunters, gatherers, providers, protectors.  One of their important attributes is the ability to mono-task and focus, to do one job at a time and do it very well.  This attribute made men exceptional at their traditional responsibilities. But it leaves them vulnerable in times when clarity of purpose is obscure.

Already facing cloudy expectations, boys are besieged by distractions.  Some seemingly benign.  Others devastatingly dangerous. Pornography is a deliberate and calculated distraction that injures even the most decent and resolute. Addiction devastates potential, leaving pain and loneliness in its wake.   My heart aches for all boys.  They should not be expected to fight such battles alone.

Your sincere friendship and virtuous example may be the greatest influence for good in their lives. Never underestimate the power of your respect. Consistently given, respect has the power to clarify purpose, reinforce willpower and restore dignity and self-esteem.

Cue Aretha Franklin
Respect is a two-way street.  You cannot hope to be treated with respect unless you are also willing to give it. Respect is about common courtesy and consideration.  It is something you can give anyone, whether or not you believe they have earned it.   It is not something you should withhold as a way to manipulate or as a way to evaluate others.  Trust is something you give or withhold based on actions.  But respect … it is a gift.

Here are five principles that will help you convey this powerful gift of respect:
1. Look for the good.   Showing respect is about feeling respect. You cannot pretend it. It is a matter of how you truly see someone. Recognize the attributes that make boys different, that help them contribute in positive ways to your world.

2. Give Praise.  When you see the good, make it known. Everyone loves to be complimented. One of our great gifts as women is the ability to nurture. Take it as a challenge to leave every boy you encounter better than you found him.

3. Be gracious. When boys show respect for you in traditional ways, smile and be grateful.
4. Be Modest. Boys are certainly responsible for their own thoughts. Each of us is. But the word respect implies consideration about how our actions affect other people. When we truly respect boys, we will be eager to help them think and be their very best.

5. Be YOUR very best. Don’t spend your energy competing with boys or with anyone else for that matter. There is something within you that only you can give. Be a true friend and example. Develop your talents. Excel in your studies. Be happy and enjoy life. When you work to become your best self, you will inspire others to do the same. And because boys will be watching you, your example will influence them more than you know.

My dear daughters, I do not know what the future holds for you, but my heart is forever praying that you will be blessed with companions who are equal to you in every way.  And whether or not you marry, I hope you will come to understand the importance of giving respect to those who share your journey. In particular, I hope you will be grateful for all the boys who complete your life by giving it depth, dimension and joy.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Scottish Festival '14

We had a great time at the Scottish Festival in Payson today.  It was very cool to see all of the Scottish arts and crafts and other things.  We didn't see any MacDonald stuff (which is where Jason's ancestors line comes from), but it was still lots of fun.  This was mine and the kids 1st time going!

Here's some pic's we took while we were there.

Jason was smiling, but I missed it.
I know this isn't Scottish, but it suits our home/family so well.