Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Light Snob

It is a well known fact that I'm an opinionated person. While the kids and I were out the other night I came to the realization that I'm highly opinionated on the subject of Christmas Lights. I took the kids out to see a drive-thru nativity that one of the churches puts on. It was really cute, and afterwards I thought it would be fun to drive around and see some lights. Caden especially really enjoys christmas lights. It was rather hard to find houses with lights up though. I realize this is because I live in a college town filled with apartments, but heavens, it was harder than it should have been. But when we finally did find an occasional house or two with lights I decided that colored christmas lights are the way to go. Don't get me wrong, white lights are very elegant and classy, but just not very festive. They go a lot better for weddings, or something like that. Christmas needs color...but not just any needs lots of color. I remember Becky, my old roommate, mentioning once how she thought a strand of blue lights was just wrong. I never thought much of it until now. She's right. Same with just a strand of green. Nope, you need lots of colors. It doesn't matter if they are big or small, or if they blink or stay solid. It's a lot more fun to go look at the lights if there are colors to see. This is my snobby opinion.

For the first time since we've lived here we put up a Christmas tree. Dan came down for a weekend and I made him buy a fake tree. He's rather anti fake tree (truthfully I am too, but I was desperate), but agreed that it was best for us right now. The kids got a kick out of decorating it, and every night they love to sit and look at it. Okay, they like to play with it, but I get really upset if they touch, so they just get really close and say that they are just looking.
For FHE tonight we delivered christmas treats to the neighbors (well, some of them, I about froze so I gave up and went home). The kids had fun and enjoyed getting all bundled up. Poor Cole can't even move in his bundle, but hopefully he stayed warm enough.

Friday, December 12, 2008


I'm addicted to blogs. I freely admit this. Occasionally I come across one that really makes me stop, think, and re-evaluate my life. Becky, my old roommate from Snow, wrote such a blog and I thought I would share it with everyone.

Preview; (n) anything that gives an advance idea or impression of something to come; a foretaste
For those of you who don’t know, I happen to be one of God’s favorite offspring. They say parents aren’t supposed to have favorite children. But then, He treats me so well, I just assume I’m one of His. I’ve been blessed to do lots of stuff in my short 25 years. If my earthly obligations were fulfilled and over with today, I would consider my life fairly successful. But, being the bright-eyed, dreamy girl I usually am, I can’t help but imagine and fantasize of the things I have yet to do/accomplish/experience. I don’t conclude that to be a bad thing.In what at the moment seems unrelated: I can always tell what type of movie I’m at by the previews and trailers that come before it. Before kids’ movies, you’ll see things like animated animals in the previews. Before a romancey chick-flick, you’ll see lots of high-heels and happily-ever-afterish stuff. Before an action movie, you’ll see car chases and explosions (and probably some irrational yet passionate kiss). I could go on and on, but hopefully you catch my drift.If you can’t handle the previews, you probably can’t handle the show.If you like the previews, you’ll most likely enjoy the feature presentation.In a similar fashion I can often tell what I’m in line for in my life, by the previews I catch on my path. Occasionally, as a favorite child, God sees fit to bless me with my own personal previews of my own personal coming attractions. They’re everywhere for me.My mission president’s wife, Sister Fillmore, taught us in the mish about good mornings. She taught that you can usually discern the majority of your day by how the first 3 hours ran (attitude, scheduling, etc). It’s true. In my current daily life, the day flows much more smoothly when the Poptarts DON’T burn and the snooze button remains un-abused. Previews.One of the assistants to the president (also in the glorious PPM) testified that he usually finds that the level of spirituality he’ll have one day corresponds directly to the amount of effort and sincerity in his bedtime prayer the night before. I’ve seen this in my own life. When the scriptures are un-read, and the prayers are un-said, the day is virtually spiritually dead. (Gosh, that’s almost needlepointable.) It’s previewtastic.I speak often of my love for the Lord’s temples and my testimony of frequent temple attendance. I love my Tuesday mornings in the Jordan River Temple! If I make it for one of the first two sessions, they don’t usually have all the lights in the Celestial Room turned on yet. As I walk past, I always try to peek and notice the chandelier with only a slight glimmer on it. It’s my preview of my coming attraction.Not just that blessed glance, but also the hours I spend in the Lord’s house each week. The whole experience in itself is meant to be a preview for any attendee. Continued attendance, the strive for worthiness, my future temple marriage, hope for Eternal Life—these are the previews He sends of the features I most hope to see.I know if I’m partial to the previews, I’ll be partial to the feature presentation.Thankfully, the opposite can also be true. The Lord sees fit, sometimes, to give me previews that aren’t so pleasant. These are for the coming attractions that He’d rather not have me view. Occasionally I say things, do things, see things, hear things, or feel things that are pre-cursers for the Adversary’s “flicks” (pun intended). Sometimes the Spirit will tell me that if I don’t like the previews then I won’t like what’s next. Previews in every sense can be the motivator to drive us either towards the objective or elsewhereIn real life movies (where Diet Coke always tastes amazing and where I strangely feel slightly obligated to sneak candy in) I don’t really like when people talk through the previews. I feel the need to personally figure out what it is I’m in for. In real life, I feel it absolutely necessary to talk through many of the previews. I often need the help to figure out what it is I’m in for. Also, if I talk through the previews the Lord is giving me, I’m often more likely to notice them and let them direct my path accordingly.Entonces. . . I can tell where I’ve been because I replay it in my mind (you know, like renting the video? Mwah!). I can see where I’m at because I’m not freakin’ blind, duh (well, most of the time). And I can tell a lot about my future because I’m seeing it every day.The Lord is blessing us with Previews of Coming Attractions. Do we like what we see in our previews? (It’s rhetorical; you don’t really have to answer.) And, my dear blogstalking friends, if we can tell we don’t like what we’re in for, do we have the courage and faith to change to another locale? My prayer is that each of us will watch—with every intensity—the previews our Lord gives us of the coming attractions He sees ahead. My prayer is that we will obtain the path and direction He has chosen for each of us.. . . and that we’ll be delightfully entertained in every scene of the journey.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Crying is supposed to be therapeudic

I must admit that I did break down a little bit today and for the first time since Dan left I felt truly alone. My mom and dad came up to spend Thanksgiving with me, and when they left all reserve fled and the tears started to fall...I was alone. Never mind the fact that I have three kids. It was the first time that I seriously considered going home early and just waiting for Dan to join me in Utah. Luckily, I called Dan and cried a bit on his "shoulder" and felt much better so when I looked at the calendar and realized that going home early wasn't going to happen it was okay. Actually, this was a good thing. It has made me re-commit myself to being a better mom while Dan is gone. I've been slacking the last little bit, and so maybe this was a good thing to go through. After all, there are only three more weeks left, and then Christmas. Three weeks is nothing...I can do anything for three weeks (like my little pep-talk to myself?)! So, needless to say, I'm very very thankful for Dan, and my parents, and my little family, and for my friends. Actually, I'm thankful for the phone too. I called a girl in our ward tonight just to talk about ward stuff and was actually prolonging the conversation to just talk...weird for me...very weird. Anyway, it was nice...until the kids started crying and screaming, but I'm sure that is beside the point (besides the point or beside...hmmm...) Maybe crying is therapeutic after all.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Two weeks down...four more to go; or there's no place like home

Well, I've survived two weeks so far. They have actually been really great weeks too. My friends have been awesome keeping me busy and occupied. Thanks guys. We just got back today from visiting Dan in Caldwell (Boise basically). I must admit that I am fairly proud of myself for driving the sixish hours there and the sixish hours back. And with three kids. Mind you, the DVD player is essential on trips like this, as well as naps (although those don't always happen). Thank heavens for the GPS, I would never had made it without it. We left friday after my meetings and the kids did really well in the car. We only stopped once for a potty break and some nutrients (in the form of an extremely healthy hamburger). It was great to see Dan, but can I admit that the last three days were harder than the two weeks by myself? My kids don't do so well at night when they are not in their own space. Sleep was a rare commodity and I didn't get much of it. Neither did Dan. I was trying to not bring so much, and I left home the toys...the kids were bored bored bored, and therefore into everything they shouldn't have been. We were going to stay at the house Dan is staying in, but after two screaming kids not wanting to go to bed (surprisingly enough it was Caden and Cole...Kember is normally the one who has problems, but she was an angel), we decided at 10:30 to stay in a hotel. We stayed at a real winner. The Sundowner. Now, I know that they were trying to be all cute with the name, but honestly, anything named "downer" not so appealing. We only stayed there because I thought it would be the cheapest place around. A hotel is a hotel...just a place to stay and I'm not very picky. This was fine and it served it's purpose, but really, the name needs help. Anyway...we stayed the next two nights at the LaQuinta. Admitidly this was a nicer hotel...and it had an indoor kiddie pool, so that was fun. I was supposed to drive home on Sunday, but I wasn't ready to make the drive back yet, so we stayed until today. Apparently that was a good decision weather wise. The drive home was non-eventful. The kids did great (love the them), and we got back in time to take Kember to school. Literally just in time. I pulled into her school right as the bus did. She looked a little funny, but there you have it. We miss Dan, but boy I'm glad to be back. I must be more of a home body than I realized. I like my home. I like to be home. I'm blessed to have this home. There is no place like home. You get the picture. Oh, speaking of pictures, I took some, but they are on Dan's camera, so probably never to be seen, but just take my word for it...they are cute.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Day 2...still going strong

I went to aerobics today. I probably shouldn't have...technically I know I am not supposed to, but I really wanted to get out of my house. I was really just going to go walking, but the place where people go walking was closed today (I'm assuming for veteran's day). So, I went to aerobics instead. Yes, I hurt a little, but it was fun and I'm glad I went.
I tried to save some money and take my own pictures of my kids instead of taking them to Sears or JC Penny or something. It didn't really work. Here are some pictures that sort of turned out cute, but definitely not a professional quality. Ahh well, what can you do? Cole was unhappy during his photo shoot, and the kids kept wanting to get in the pictures then I got them ready for their photo shoot, but they were finished by that time, or just giving me those really cheesy smiles (or Kember wouldn't smile at all, but glare at the camera...grrrr).
Thiss shot was really hard to take with one hand. Needless to say I think I am going to spend the money for a professional.

So we finally put the camera away and got out the games. That's what we did for the rest of the night.

Monday, November 10, 2008

So far, so good

Doesn't this just make your heart melt? Today Dan left for his six week stint in Idaho and I took the kids out to say goodbye. I was glad I had my camera cause these are just too cute.
I made it through day one at least. Yea for me! For FHE we did a thankful turkey. I stole the idea from Miquelle. The kids didn't quite grasp the thankful concept, but they told me what they were thankful for and they got excited to put on feathers.
They liked that I hung it up on their door too!

We spent the rest of FHE singing songs. Kember and Caden would take turns making up songs aobut squirrels and bears and all sorts of stuff. Then I would say a primary song and we'd sing that. It was great fun.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fall Photos

“It’s autumn time, it’s autumn time, the leaves are falling down. It’s autumn time, it’s autumn time, it’s all around the town” (sing with me now!).

Dan had to go build fence or something random yesterday (Nov. 1st) so I thought I would take the kids out and take some pictures. This turned out to not be such a great idea, but it gave us something to do. After getting everyone ready, which like I said in a previous post, takes a whole heap of time, it was about nap time (oops, good planning on my part). I loaded all the kidos up and we drove to the Pullman church where there are really pretty leaves everywhere. Well, it was raining, I didn’t want the kids in coats, and neither one wanted to “play in the leaves” like I wanted them too. Caden ran away from me, and I couldn’t catch him. Not to worry though, Kember chased him and caught him and then proceeded to push him over, tried to help him up, and then tried to drag him back to me. Isn’t she just so helpful? Then Kember decided she “has to go potty!” oh, and it’s an emergency (she’s doing the crossed legs clutching dance). No, the church isn’t open, so we run the kids back to the car and race home, where she decides she doesn’t want to go potty. Grrrrr! Well, I’d had enough so they went down for naps. And slept for quite awhile too. Well, I got a few pictures anyway.

The Carving of the Pumpkin

It seems like such a simple task…grab a pumpkin, cut it open, clean it out, make a face for it. However, there is more to it than that…lots more (if you’re Daniel Johnson). The process starts with picking the perfect pumpkin. What constitutes the perfect pumpkin? Apparently it has a lot to do with the stem. I admit that I still don’t quite understand, but there is an art to it people.
Next it is important to have the right tools, especially for cleaning the pumpkin out, because it must be cleaned out well. May I recommend an ice-cream scoop? It really does work wonders. And of course you need a sharp knife (both large and small), a pizza cutter, various spoons, and a power drill. Yes, these are the essential tools for carving pumpkins (don’t ask what the pizza cutter is for, I’m not quite sure, but Kember really had fun with it).
If at this point you feel like you need a rest, go ahead, take one…the most challenging part is yet to come. Next, and this part is not to be rushed, you must decide on the “face” of your pumpkin. This takes time and planning and like I said before, not to be rushed. It is an art, and Dan will take his time figuring this out, making sketch after sketch and just thinking about it. Anyway, after all is said and done this is the result. Looks simple, I know, but it’s so much more.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween Adventures

Faster than a speeding bullet (okay, maybe just for me, but he ran away from me, and I couldn’t catch him)
More powerful than a locomotive (Just look at him push that thing!)
Can leap buildings in a single bound (Well, sort of..we are still working on the jumping bit, but he likes to pretend he can) Caden Johnson is….Superman! Or in his words “I Man”

Kember wanted to be a mermaid this year…and a princess...and Super-girl (after she saw Caden's costume)…So, we told her she was all three. In her words, “I’m super-princess-mermaid for Halloween!” Aren’t we creative? I didn"t get a good picture of just Kember. I think it really bothered me that her costume was pink and her hair was clashed horribly.Cole didn’t get a choice as to what he was going to be. Melanie got him this little skeleton costume, and I just love it. I’m a little biased, but I think he’s a cutie.

Thanks Carol Lee for fixing Kember's costume and putting Caden's together. The kids loved them, and I think they turned out pretty great!

We had a very long day on Halloween. We started with getting up really early (for me) and making cookies for our play-group Halloween party. I thought I would have plenty of time, but making cookies, gathering supplies, getting three kids ready, plus me turned out to take longer than I thought…they all needed baths, and costume assembly took awhile (It’s hard to spray Kembers hair red)…not to mention that I like long showers (I refrained from the long portion though). Then we loaded everyone up and went to set up for the party! It was pretty fun. I felt bad it wasn’t better organized, but can’t do anything about that now. People were really good to remember if they signed up for something though, and I don’t think the kids minded that all there really was to do was run around in the gym. Anyway, a special thanks to everyone who brought really yummy food (you are all so creative) and thank you to Melanie for providing an activity for the kids. I know that was my kids’ favorite part. Oh, and again, a special thanks to everyone who cleaned up. I had to leave early for a Policy Meeting, and so I bombed out on the clean up.
I ran to Kember’s school for a meeting where they feed us lunch, had people watch my kids (I kept the baby), and we talked about things that went way over my head, but there you go. We came home and the kids napped for a long time (thank you…it was needed). Dan came home and we got ready for party number 2 at the Vet School. After that we went to party number 3 at our church. They did trunk-or-treating, but indoors and they combined it with two other wards. I was really tired and hurting, but the kids had loads of fun and who ever organized it did a very nice job. All in all it was a great Halloween!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Little Man Pictures

Here are some pictures so that I can prove Cole has hair. Like I said, I don't know how long it's going to last, I'm sure it's all the baby fuzz hair, but hey, he has it and it's a miracle. There is a lot of it in a mullet in the back.
I just think this one is funny because Caden's clapping and Kember is telling him to be quiet. She is such a big sister.

Oh, and this one looks like he has a comb-over...too funny.

Well, there you have him. Cole Anders Johnson. Our newest little addition.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The real labor day!

Well, today was the day! Our little boy was born 7:45 am this morning. The C-Section went really well, and all of the nurses/doctors/etc. were really great. We headed into the hospital at 5 am (way too early if you ask me...especially since they made me shower with a special soap last night and this 4 am was my wake up time) got more paper work filled out, got my IV started, starved (couldn't eat anything for 8 hours before hand), talked to all sorts of people about the surgery, and waited rather impatiently for 7 o'clock. We got my spinal around 7:10 (it was so quick...I was really impressed) and with an efficiency I wasn't expecting our little man was born 1/2 later! I'm feeling really well. I've got up and walked around, I'm not on too much pain killer and I'm just...great! I'm really tired, and if you came to visit me I'm sorry if I wasn't all there. I do remember the visit though, and I appreciate it! Oh, he was 7.7 lbs and 19 1/2 inches long! I think we've decided to name him Cole, but we are still working on a middle name. Of course we took lots of pictures to share....but of course we forgot the card to down load them onto the computer...oops. We'll try to rectify that situation soon. Just as an unbelievable little fact he has hair and it's really dark. We will see how long it will actually last, but for right now our little nugget has hair! Rock on.
Dan has been really great and is making sure I'm comfortable and have everything I want. He even brought me flowers. I like flowers. Grandma Loni flew in yesterday and has been great with the kids. I'm afraid she isn't going to last very long though...the kids kind of mauled her yesterday and were all over her. I was exhausted just watching them. Anyway, she's been really great to have around and brought the kids in twice to see us. Caden is trying to be soft, but...well, isn't. Kember informed me multiple times that she "likes her baby brother." Too cute. I'm glad she likes him and I hope it lasts.
Sorry about the pictures...I really will work on that.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Decisions and a count-down

Okay, I know I already posted tonight, but I've decided I need some help (which I'm sure isn't news to any of you).

So, this little baby boy is coming on Friday the 17th (five more days...hence the count-down title) at 7 AM. The only trouble is, he is still nameless, and Dan and I just can't agree.

Here are some options that we came up with today. Let me know what you think, and then don't be offended if we don't take your suggestion. I'm pregnant and can do what I want! :)

Bryson (Brycen, Brysen)
Cole (I like the name, but hate the fact all my kids start with the "c" sound)
Rushton (Dan doesn't like this...I admit, it's a little weird, but I'm stuck on it)

Okay...those were first name. Now what do we do for a middle name? I like the idea of a family name, as long as it isn't a weird family name. I'd like to do my side of the family since Caden got Dan's side of the family, but the only trouble is...I can't think of a name! I really like "Scott" for a middle name, but that's Dan's side of the family. Sigh. Yes, I think we need help. Please let me know what you think, and why you think it.


While Dan was on his vacation and before Kember started school we decided that we would go camping since we hadn't been this year yet. A fact that was very distressing to Dan. We headed up to Moose Creek Reservoir (not too far away, but don't ask me where, I have no idea) with Beth and Jeremy and their little girl Maeli. It was loads of fun. Not too cold (but not too warm either). I must say, I didn't sleep all that well, but I am blaming the fact that I was at the time around 8 1/2 months pregnant. Dan gave me the cot to sleep on though. He and the kids slept on the blow up mattresses. Kember had a hard night until she slept with Dan in his sleeping bag. Then Dan had a hard night because Kember isn't really the "give you some room" type of sleeper and we definitely aren't used to her sleeping with us. Caden woke up way early in the morning and probably woke up all the other campers in the area as well. I tried to get him quickly, but it took a while for me to get off the cot. Sitting up is hard and I was tangled in my sleeping bag. Ahh well. was loads of fun, and I'd write more details, but since it was so long ago I don't remember any of them. Enjoy the pictures!
Kember and Caden both took turns blowing up the mattresses. Okay, Dan did all the work, but they pushed once or twice.
This is where we got our water. The kids thought it was the coolest thing and Caden kept wanting "more". You can see him doing the "more" sign.

Kember was helping daddy set up the tent. What a big helper she is!

So, I really don't know what's up with these funny faces, but he just started doing it, and I'm glad I got a picture of it.

Saturday morning when we woke up we went for a walk. The guys found sticks, the kids found sticks and everyone was very happy with their sticks. The kids played with them for quite a while after we got back to camp. I declined my turn with a stick since I was having to lug Caden along (he is a very curious boy and doesn't move very fast if he doesn't want to), but I waddled with the best of them!
I'm kind of sad Beth and I aren't in any of these pictures. I say kind of because we were camping and so I'm sure I didn't look wonderful, but sometimes it would be nice to prove I was actually at an event. Oh well.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Hey, Pictures!

Well what do you know. Blogger actually let me post some pictures today. Rock on. Anyway, these pictures are from Kember's first day at school and her first riding the bus. Dan was actually on vacation this week so it was nice to have him involved in taking her to school and then out to the bus.

Walking up to the school. Kember was really really excited!
Kember's teacher Ms. Allysa. Dan said that she reminds him of a sorority girl....well, what can you do? Kember really likes her.

So Kember runs into her class room and then joins this girl in the corner. It turns out this little girls lives in our apartment complex and they are now friends (I think everyone is Kember's friend...unless she is being mean and does her " So and so isn't my friend" bit. That really bothers me, but again, what can you do?
This was the part I was worried about, but she loved, and still loves the bus. Every day she asks if her bus is going to come get her to take her to school. She doesn't understand that Friday through Sunday we don't go to school, and if she's really tired that is rather distressing to her.
Well, there you have it (or I guess there I have it since this is for my benefit). Pictures!