Monday, December 21, 2009

It's official! Nana has a new name!

For those of you who did and/or didn't receive personal news about this, here is the official report!

Friday, December 18th, Effie's mother, Cris Bisch, had her name legally changed to "Lee Enry Erickson". Dirk was home sick, but Effie and Sephira went out with Nana and Papa to celebrate this new chapter and adventure in their lives.

Here is the back-story (written by Cris/Lee):

Yes. It's true. This may come as a surprise, even a shock to some of you, but I've changed my name! Really.

My birth name was Christie Lee Caufman, then when I married Cliff I dropped the "h" in Chris, even my middle initial, and taking the Bisch name I have been know by family and friends for the past 35 years as Cris Bisch. The Bisch clan is a wonderful family of which I am still proud to be a part.

Ever since I was a young girl, I have wished I'd been given the first name of Lee instead of it being my middle name like my mother's maiden name Marjorie Lee Erickson. Unfortunately, my maternal grandfather Leif (aka Lee) Henry Erickson died prematurely in his 40's before I was two years of age. I was his first grandchild and he loved me. The photo is of me sitting on the lap of Bestafar my Norwegian great grandfather with his son, my grandfather, Leif showing me a photo of my father who was away serving in the Korean Conflict with the Navy. This photo, representing four generations of our family, was on the front page of the Bellingham Herald on Father's Day, the year before my grandfather passed away.

Bestafar, Leif and Christie Lee with a photo of her father Robert Wesley Caufman.

So now my name is Lee Enry Erickson to fulfill my lifelong wish to honor his memory. And with this name I am pursuing my lifelong passion for writing, storytelling and pursing other creative ventures. At first, I intended Lee Enry Erickson to be an alias or pen name, but decided to take the plunge and formally take my new name for handling business and legal transactions, as well. I invite you to visit my L.E. Erickson blog at

Although I will keep my "Cris Bisch" Facebook page, I am gradually transitioning over to my new identity in all online communications, including Facebook. I invite you to friend me as "Lee Erickson" on Facebook. My husband and children already have. They are very supportive; I hope you will be, too! I expect many if not most of you will continue to call me "Cris" by choice or habit, and that's perfectly fine with me, even if you friend me as "Lee". I'm a good at multitasking and respond well to both ; ). Remember, "Lee" has been my middle name all my life.

I apologize that I've only been able to include most of my family in this note and none of my friends, as I am having a persistent problem tagging more this note, but if you are reading this and are family or a friend of mine here on Facebook, feel free to share this note with mutual family and friends to help me spread the news. I've tagged Lee Erickson in this note, so you can easily click to view my new profile, and "friend" me there, as well.

I also want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. From our home to yours... Happy Holidays!

With Love, Lee (aka Cris)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Siverts Family Season’s Greeting | 2009

The saying, ‘Don’t blink or your kids will be grown before you know it’, has never rung more true. We’re in that group now.

Though most days, honestly, the reality of having a child still hasn’t really set in. Pregnancy, labor and delivery are all a blur in retrospect. An amazingly precious time in our married life, but a blur considering we are now 15 months post-partum and experiencing the early signs of life with a two year old. Life is beautiful. Life is wonderful. Now we ask ourselves, ‘Is she really ours? Do we really get to keep her?’ Sephira is just that cool! We have been mightily blessed.

We are finding the joy in celebrating Christmas as a family, as Sephira toddles around the Christmas tree helping us hang ornaments. (She actually did hang a few, stretching the cord just the right way to hang it over the tip of the bough.) We even designed and made our own stockings this year!

We have much to be thankful for. We finally finished our major backyard project this summer, designing and building the patio, trellis and garden boxes ourselves.

We experimented with our vegetable plantings and had an abundance of summer and patty pan squash, wonderful onions and leeks, chives and green tomatoes (great for stir frying). We’re already looking forward to next years garden, and put various bulbs in the ground in November.

Though juggling the baby and working from home part-time is harder than Effie anticipated, she wouldn’t trade it for anything. Through Sivecki & Associates (Effie’s web development and support business with partner Aaron Parecki) Effie continues to provide training and support of the Career Pathways Web Tool (Oregon State funded project through Lane Community College). The flexibility allows Effie to devote most of her daylight hours to developing a healthy, active, and educating lifestyle with Sephira. The two of them attend Baby Boot Camp 2-3 times a week for fitness, have play dates with friends, attend story time at the public library, and do all the general running around that keeps us organized and fed.

Sephira also gets lots of quality time with her Nana (Effie’s Mom). If Dirk is working on days that Effie has work commitments, Nana comes in to town. Sephira loves her Nana. They make up songs, read lots of books, explore and play all day! We're blessed that we've been able to keep our childcare within the family. Nana has also been gracious to care for Sephira all day on several occasions to afford Effie and Dirk some quality time out: dates to Belknap Hot Springs, romantic dinners, massage and matinees. These opportunities have brought us home sooo refreshed! Thank you, Nana, and Papa too, for the entertainment value you provide Sephira, and your support of Nana in supporting us!

Effie took to walking 5K races in April with the Walk for MS, and finished six 5Ks with Sephira in stroller or carrier; four of which Nana walked with us, and the last of which Effie ran with Dirk at the Mt. Angel Oktoberfest Road Race. To Effie’s surprise she is becoming a runner - something she never dreamed she would have had the desire or physical conditioning to achieve. Now she claims that life “after 30” and baby are the best years of her life, all thanks to the cardiovascular conditioning from Baby Boot Camp and the support, encouragement, and walk/run training from Dirk. She lost all her baby weight, plus an additional 20 pounds in 12 months.

Our other greatest thankfulness is Dirk’s semi-new job as Critical Care House Float at the Sacred Heart University District hospital in Eugene. He took the job just two months before Sephira was born and it has been the best change for us as a family. His stress (from being the ICU Charge Nurse) has significantly reduced, and now he gets a “weekend” in cycles of every 2-3 days. This is such a great thing! We go swimming (Sephira is a natural), we play at the park, we cook, we play, we laugh, we sing, we take mini-trips to the Aquarium or beach, or go to Bend to see some of Effie’s family and friends.

Dirk is teaching himself to play the acoustic guitar – learning styles and strumming, and memorizing cords – making and creating beautiful music. Effie occasionally plunks at the piano. We even try our hand at guitar and piano duets. Efforts we all enjoy as a family, with a hope our musical meanderings will inspire Sephira.

Dirk has also been challenging himself physically, completing the Albany Sprint Triathlon in personal record time of 1 hour and 21 minutes, and running two 5Ks. His desire to compete in more races was waylaid by a stress fracture in his right tibia, which took 12 weeks of NO impact to heal. After recovering from the fracture he thought he’d give Cyclocross racing a try. BMX for adults – it’s a blast!

And that’s it for sports news.

Something we’re very proud of is that since birth we have been teaching Sephira the Baby Signs® Program. By signing with her consistently we have developed communication before she can talk. Her first sign, and word, at 8 months was “book” (“aboo”). Now at 15 months she has over 60 signs that we’ve documented, and is picking up new signs and sounds daily – her new favorite being “help” (“howww” ). It truly feels like there isn’t a thing she can’t tell us, and if she doesn’t know what something is she asks “waahsdis?”, which only gives us more opportunity to see the world from her perspective.

Experiencing this, and feeling the relief of communication in a usually frustrating time for parents and infants, Effie and Nana decided to start a business teaching the Baby Signs® Program to parents and caregivers in our area. Their business is called Tot2Sign, LLC (, and they hope to begin offering classes in February 2010. Sephira will be their testimony and poster child.

And there you have it! Our crazy, wonderful, ‘don’t blink’ world in two pages. We look forward to reading your news, and hope the New Year finds you healthy, joyful and in the company of your loved ones.

Happy Christmas!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Decorating the Christmas Tree

This is a little 10 minute video of our family decorating our first Christmas tree together. Special times for us that we want to share with our family and friends around the States, and beyond.

May the joy of the season fill your home as it does ours!