Archive for December, 2012


Ring in 2013!!

Last year, I started off with a word that was going to color my life lens.  HOPEFUL.

I look back at 2012 in awe of all the blessings God has bestowed on my family:

Hopeful that we will raise enough money to go to the Dominican Republic with Rilyn and Ella in July. PRAISE!

Hopeful that my son will learn to obey his parents. STILL WORKING ON THAT ONE!  James is reading a book with some of his best friends with sons, called Raising a Modern-Day Knight: A Father’s Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood that I believe will be instrumental in raising Asher to be a godly man!

Hopeful that my son will sit still long enough for a Bible story. STILL WORKING!

Hopeful that my middle child will come to know Jesus as her Savior this year. PRAISE!

Hopeful that I will be a more respectful wife. STILL WORKING ON IT! I AM GETTING BETTER AT APOLOGIZING THOUGH!  🙂

Hopeful that my photography skills will improve.  PRAISE!  But I defnitely have a long way to go!

Hopeful that I will spend more time playing with my children.  STILL WORKING…with my photo business picking up speed, I lost my gusto to really play with my kids, and more about using my time to edit photos.  😦

Hopeful that I will see the Bible Study I’m in for the spring not as a burden, (as in LOTS of homework), but as a blessing (as in LOTS of time getting to know my Father through His Word).  PRAISE!  That was a challenging spring, but I look back and see God’s hand in every detail, and feel so blessed that I got to be apart of Women’s Development!

Hopeful that my oldest daughter will find a best friend who loves Jesus.  STILL WORKING ON IT.  😦   

Hopeful for health for my family and extended family.  PRAISE!

Hopeful that I will go to the gym 3 days a week and eat healthier.  I WORKED OUT THIS YEAR MORE THAN I EVER HAVE BEFORE AS AN ADULT!  BUT EATING HEALTHIER?  NOPE.  😦

Hopeful that all things in 2012 are happening not to me, but for me, and for His Glory.  YES!!  THIS BIBLICAL VIEW HAS BEEN MY ANCHOR IN MANY LIFE EVENTS THAT HAPPENED THIS YEAR!  PRAISE HIM!

2011 was the last year of diapers in 7 straight years of buying them.
2012 was the year that naps disappeared.  I had to build “naptime” in my schedule for the previous 7 1/2 years and it was time for Asher to stop napping.
2013 is going to be another year of big changes…ALL my kids will be in FULL TIME school by the end of August! Wow!! Asher will start kindergarten! We will no longer be paying preschool tuition (we’ve been paying preschool tuition(s) for 8 years)! What will we do with all that extra money (I can hear James laughing now), maybe get our first pet?!?


Erickson Christmas 2012

Unfortunately, this year, my brother and his family had the stomach flu, so they couldn’t join us.  It just wasn’t the same with all the family together.

Asher not too thrilled!

My sister was there though, which was a blessing, since the kids hadn’t seen her since June!

silly picture!

Asher wasn’t having it for the pictures this year…

Stocking time!

Rilyn has been waiting almost all year for the Friends Lego house…and she just knew that Grandma was going to get it for her! So when she was opening it, she closed her eyes in anticipation!

feels like it…

She got it!

Captain America!

Christmas morning 2012

The kids woke up Christmas morning and we started off by putting the last ornament on our Jesse Tree!  The star, which represents Jesus!

Then the kids counted up all the money they earned in their Shepherd Pouches this December. They earned $37 total and we told them we would match it…so they got to give $75 to the Makarios Flood Recovery fund!

Time for stockings!

a blank book for her to write/draw in!
Angry Bird gummies!

Ella got Rilyn a Barbie horse…I’m pretty sure that is what Ella wanted, and so she picked it out for Rilyn! lol…sisters!

Rilyn got Ella an elephant Beanie Ballz!

she LOVES it!

Asher got his first Beyblade!

oh ya!

Massive sister hug from Ella!

Rilyn’s “need” present…new Twinkle Toes!

Ella’s “want” present…a scooter!

Our family present was a trampoline! We told the kids to go upstairs because their last gift was there…then they looked out the window!

Homemade gifts are the best! Ella knows how much James loves “Johnny Football”-the Heisman winner from A&M…so she made him his own personal one! lol


For breakfast every Christmas morning, we eat birthday cake for Jesus!

The red candle in the middle of the star represents Jesus. We each took a candle and lit it from the middle candle to represent that we can be lights of the world for Him!

3 layer cake!

Paquette Christmas

We traveled to Fort Worth last weekend to celebrate Christmas with James’ family.  Rilyn loved setting up Oma’s nativity!

We visited aunt Mandy who had a local art show. (She is RAW visual artist of the year for Dallas!)

visit  Mandylopandy on Facebook to see more!

The kids painted ornaments for Oma’s tree.

The whole family!

Presents were opened!

a unicorn horn from aunt Mandy!

The kids big gift was a Giga ball!!


The favorite thing we look forward to is the stocking game! Every stocking has a gift card in it and there are “rounds” with $5 gift cards, $10, $15, and $25! Some gift cards are for Dollar Tree, and some are for Target!  (There always is trading at the end!)  Rilyn and Ella are the elves, and place the cards in the stocking in between each round.  We draw numbers to see who will pick first, second, etc.  So fun, and a tradition that we will no doubt carry on when we are grandparents!


peace, LOVE, and joy!

Merry Christmas from the Paquettes!

Disneyland 2012

The night before Disneyland…

On Monday we went to Disneyland to see it at Christmas time.  We made a couple mistakes.  1.)  We had only 1 day to go to two parks.  2.)  We went at Christmas time.  We will never again go at Christmas!  It was the most crowded I have ever seen, and I grew up going to Disneyland a couple times a year!  We went on a Monday, when school was still in session, but it didn’t help!  I felt like we didn’t get to go on hardly any rides, especially at Disneyland.  And the kids didn’t get any character’s autographs this time.

This is our kids third time to Disneyland, and this time we really wanted to ride the new Cars ride.
Disneyland opens before California Adventure (where the Cars ride was), so we went on one ride there first-Astroblasters!

Then in the drizzly weather, we walked to California Adventure!

Main Street

We walked straight to Cars land and the new ride.

2 HOURS LATER we finally get on! The kids were NOT HAPPY about the wait, and I could not blame them! (The ride was not working for 30 minutes of our wait.)

We thought the ride was fun!! We were not expecting the fast race at the end though, and Ella, who does NOT like fast rides, was NOT happy afterward!

the ride is beautifully done

Then we headed to the Ariel ride, which is Ella’s favorite!


We bribed Rilyn (with more money added to her souvenir allowance!) if she went on the Tower of Terror! We were pleased to see that Asher just made the height requirement too!

Here is the picture that they take during the ride! I love Rilyn and Asher’s face! Rilyn is not holding a stranger’s hand. That is my cousin’s wife. 🙂  Asher said after the ride that he almost threw up, but he loved it!

we are in the back row

Then we went to Dancin’ with Disney (characters). Basically, it’s a live DJ spinning tunes with about 7 characters dancing around. Pretty good idea! My girls danced with Cruella de Vil.

Then we headed to Rilyn’s favorite ride-Soaring over California. This was Asher’s first time, and he loved it too!

cotton candy!

After the ride, we headed back to Disneyland to watch the Christmas parade!

Sleeping Beauty and the rest of the princesses
Pinnochio float

Tarzan’s Treehouse had no line, so we let the kids run up and down the tree a couple times!

can you see James and the kids way up there?

It started getting dark at 5 as we went on Pirates of the Caribbean. The kids turned on their light-up Disney shirts. Their Oma found them at Walgreens!

Asher picking his nose…
Pirates of the Caribbean

Next, we went on Thunder Mountain which is Rilyn’s favorite ride at Disneyland. Ella did not go on because she told me “speed is her enemy.” Last year she went on Thunder Mountain, and it is definitely worth a look back if you haven’t seen the hilarious pictures!

Sadly, we did not get to go on Small World this trip. The line was over an hour long and then when we went back to go on it, the ride closed early because of fireworks! 😦

Small World is beautiful at night at Christmas time!

We went to Toon Town while Asher rode Thunder again with James.


The girls love Minnie’s house!

Minnie’s kitchen

Finally, at 9 p.m. our kids were D.O.N.E and we had to leave the park. The castle looked beautiful at night!


Big Bear!

We started off on Saturday morning at Seal Beach.

Then we went to my 2nd cousin’s 2nd birthday party. This picture is me with my grandpa, his wife, and my uncle (my dad’s brother and father.)

That afternoon, we drove to Big Bear, which is about 2 1/2 hours away from where we were. Unfortunately, we hit traffic the whole way there, so we arrived at night. It was a little scary to drive on potential black ice, but we arrived safe at about 7 p.m. We stayed at the cabin where I grew up going to. It used to be my grandpa’s cabin, and then my cousin bought it from him, so it’s still in the family! My grandpa bought the cabin in 1972 for $12,000! 🙂
Once the fire gets started, it was so warm and cozy!

James being silly while playing Uno.

The cabin used to have a real deer head, but thankfully it’s been replaced…by an Ella head?!? 😉

Sunday morning was full of fun playing in the fresh snow!

Asher about to peg me with a snowball…

After I saw this snowman Ella made, I had to remind her that we are in the mountains, not Texas!, and she can make a MUCH bigger snowman than that!

a Texan’s snowman
Now THAT’S a snowman!

Legoland California!

We just got back from a fast and furious vacation to southern California!  The first day we drove down to Carlsbad and went to Legoland!  I totally recommend this park, and I would say the park is best suited for ages 10 and younger.

You will notice we are plus one…my 2nd cousin, little Makayla, came with us and joined inour family picture!
safari!  Notice the alligators and giraffes all made of Legos!
I like how Asher is looking at the witch!
all made of Legos…amazing!
we were there for Holiday Snow Days!  They brought in snow for the kids to play in!
can you find Ella?  (in the red car)
you had to pedal to go faster!
James trying to beat the girls up!
all the kids loved this area!
miniature buildings to resemble a city…Dr. Rilyn is checking out Makayla
Asher got busted for having too much fun…
you stay in the jail cell!
I asked Ella to pose in the lion’s mouth, and this is what she did.  Realistic?  Yes.  Cute?  No.
this is Miniland, where there are Lego miniatures of all the major cities in the world!

new photo shoots!

I’ve been very busy with photo shoots for Christmas cards!  Enjoy!
the Hawkins family

the Cruz kids

the Mongold family


live Nativity

We went to a live Nativity on Saturday night at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Taylor.  It was very nice, and we will be going back next year!  The only complaint from my kids was that they wanted it to go on longer!    🙂

The angel telling Mary that she is with child…

Collecting taxes…

No more room in the inn…but we have a stable…

The shepherds visit the King

the wise men

My photography business!

December 2012