CHRISTMAS IN ILLINOIS WITH FAMILY - 2008
Sister Erickson and I left Nauvoo zone conference on Saturday, December 20th and drove to Chicago in a blizzard and a ice storm for a Sunday arrival of Trevor, Tish, Nikki, Travis and Kohen for Christmas. A three hour trip took us 6 hours. What a great reunion to see them. Trent and Chantel are expecting their second child and son anytime now and they couldn't be with us. We stayed the night and went to the Monday night Bears vs Packers game in Chicago. Chicago won in overtime. I have never witnessed anything so cold in my life. The big scoreboard kept us updated as to the coldest game ever in Chicago history at 12 degrees BELOW O. We were bundled up from head to toe. As we entered the game, the softdrink dispenser were all frozen. The bottled water we bought froze as we tried to drink it. I found myself sitting in the warm bathroom at halftime putting toe warmers in my boot along with everyone else in the stands. It was the first time I have been able to see my favorite team in person. Nikki, Trevor, Travis and I went as Sister Erickson and Tish stayed at the Hotel with Kohen. We drove to Peoria the next day in a bad snow storm that got better the closer we got to Peoria. We enjoyed being with family. We had 10 missionaries over Christmas eve with us and had dinner and played some games with us. We had them stay the night in the Mission Home with us and then opened presents the next day. We had a great breakfast and then we were blessed to have our son Dallas call us from "DALLAS". He was able to use the web cam so we got to see him as well as hear his voice. He is loving his mission and working hard. He is somewhat nervous about going home to "NO PARENTS". We would love him to stay with us and go to Bradley University or University of Illinois but I think his heart is set for SLC. The day after Christmas we did a session in the Nauvoo temple and went to Carthage. What a blessing it is to serve in such a historic place. The spirit is so strong and the love and appreciation we have for the early Saints and the commitment of Joseph Smith is remarkable. We love this great work. We are honored and blessed to be called missionaries and to teach and testify every day we step foot out of the house. We had a wonderful holiday and said good-bye to family.