Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Love, the Johnson family (including Rosie, the chicken).
Monday, December 5, 2011
She is growing into such a big girl!
Our best pouty faces
PRESENT TIME!!!! Kaylynn is easy to please and appreciates anything homemade. She LOVES "back then" times and understands how much hard work goes into making a gift. So, imagine her delight when gift time came and nearly everything she opened was homemade: A felt doll made by Kalli (with help from Jeremie), American Girl accessories made by her cousins, a journal made by Auntie Louise and Uncle Brian, her very own moccasins made by daddy, and a quilt (yes my very first) made by me!
Kaylynn and the quilt. I cannot tell you how pleased I was to have this kind of reaction! I was so nervous. I am not an experience seamstress. I do not sew straight, but I love sewing, and I love fabric! The quilt was crooked but still absolutely beautiful to my sweet daughter.
And here is the quilt on her bed (this photo taken by Kaylynn). The last birthday gift was another American Girl doll purchased with her very own money (she was so proud). She saved for months and was able to buy it after she was given some birthday money from relatives! I feel so blessed to watch my daughter grow into a young lady. A young lady who loves the LORD and loves life. She teaches me everyday to laugh, have fun, and embrace all that God has to give. Although, I am not so sure how I feel about her growing up....some days I do wish there was some way to slow that down.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Cami just enjoyed the popcorn.
Friday, October 7, 2011
Like your completely stuck and any headway you're making isn't really headway. With my zeal to live intentionally came bondage. I was trapped in my head and couldn't get out. Question after question: Should we or shouldn't we...eat that, travel here, spend here, teach here, play now, read now...it goes on and on. I laid awake at night thinking about these things and more....will our kids be safe? Will our kids succeed? Will our kids be followers of Christ? Are we really raising them to love Christ?
I am also very good at creative problem solving and a great rule follower (is that even gramatacilly correct)? Naturally, when I would come up with a question, I would make a rule to "fix" it. For example: I think we need more Bible time so Alan will read the Bible to the kids at dinner every night (on top of what I do during the day) and that will make it so they are better Christians. OR we will use Christmas to celebrate Jesus' birth but we will NOT give gifts; we will "serve" somewhere. OR I will read my Bible and pray twice a day so I will have more patience and more wisdom with my kids. Now, none of these things are bad or wrong, but they are simply rules. MORE BONDAGE!
I used to be a mama who LOVED everything about...well....being a mama. I enjoyed teaching, nurturing, and I loved to play! This year, I have grown to dread those things because all I can think of is....how do I make this year intentional....how do I make sure they are learning everything they need to learn.....that mom is using that curriculum I should too...maybe that is intentional. And again, the battle in my mind begins. The other day, Alan said to me, "Is it hard being so intentional?" This question has run around and around in my head, and the answer I have is: I are not intentional, I are OBSESSIVE (I think I am being a little dramatic here, but it fits)!
I recently started reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, and I have gained new perspective (well, actually it is old perspective just new in this stage of my life). She talks a lot about living in the moment. Breathing in the here and now, and seeking out 1,000 things to be thankful for. I cried when I first started the book because I remember being that kind of person.....the one who could see God's grace in everything. Then I mourned because I realized the kind of person I had become. I became so obsessed with trying to live life as fully as God has asked that I completely forgot about LIVING and embracing the here and now.
I had to change the way I was looking. I didn't have the right lens. I was looking at life through intentionality NOT through Christ. What my heart desired was good but the way I was carrying it out was not. I wear glasses, and when I take them off I am as blind as can be....if I wear Alan's glasses, I am still blind. And when I am blind, I run into things and well....it gets dangerous. I felt like I was walking through life blind (for a few months). I didn't have the right glasses on. You know it's bad when your 8 year old says, "mom, you never play anymore." OUCH! I used to play, but then I got serious....too serious about being intentional.....and I forgot to play.
Matthew Chapter 6:25-34 has solidified a lot of this for me. Many people know it as the "worry" passage, but I like to call it the "take no thought" passage. I will not type it all out here, but just the first verse (25):
Even when a dear old grandpa wants to buy each of the kids Jelly Bellys at the store (simply because they remind him of his grandkids), and everything inside of me screams, "ALL THAT SUGAR!!!! It isn't good for them.....their teeth....their health.....their lunch..." I take a deep breath, thankful for this kind man's generosity, thankful to be a blessing to him, thankful that I can teach my kids to humbly accept a gift, and Relax. I say to myself, "is it really that serious?"
I still consider myself intentional....I have simply shifted the way I look at living intentionally, and right now that means taking a deep breath, laughing out loud, living in the moment, going back to old home school routine (I will talk more about this in another post), seeking out things to be thankful for (rather than things to be intentional about), and PLAYING!
There you have it....probably the most transparent you will ever see me get on this blog, but I wanted to share God's goodness and grace with all of you because...well...authenticity is important!
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
I recently visited one of my very dearest friends (for like 16 years now) in Chicago. She is preggers with her very first baby (you have no idea how long I have waited for this), and I flew out for her baby shower. Oh, to be with another woman who knows me inside and out and speaks my language. I cannot tell you what a blessing it was to be a part of her community and see the love that surrounds her. I had such an intense, authentic encounter while visiting her that I came home feeling renewed and ready to approach relationships with a new perspective. It happened like this:
THIS IS REAL!
And now I have the opportunity to bring this home...to my relationship with my husband, my kids, my family, my friends, my community, and complete strangers. It had become far too easy for me to settle into the routine and forget that the people I interact with are REAL, and they (like me) need someone to be authentic with them! Someone to:
-Give REAL hugs
-Cheer them on
-Have REAL conversations (even the hard ones)
-Accept the core of who they are
-Speak the truth
-Show them honor
I went to visit a friend, and I gained a whole new way of looking at people. I have to say...that is a great vacation! I cheer for Drew and Dana in their new adventure in the mommy and daddy world. I feel so blessed to watch my childhood friend bringing new life into this world (now if only we could convince them to move to Maine)!
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Kalli LOVED this little canoe ride. She literally sat there as though she were gliding steadily down a beautiful river, looking all around her at the scenery. She was so still; it was so fun to watch.
Then there's Jeremie who is our "full throttle" kid. He decided that he wanted to catch Kalli's canoe so he rocked his back and forth to make it go faster (way to have a homeschooling lesson at the funpark)! And as you can see, he did catch her....then he had no where to go. When he got off, he said, "mom it was just too slow so I made it go faster."
This photo was taken right before the ride started. They were so good until Jeremie realized that he could control it from both his side and Kalli's and made it jerk up and down so that the whole ride jerked then all the other children followed suit. Ugh....some days I am so thankful for his...um...creativity, and other days, I just shake my head and offer gracious correction.
Then there is our massive thrill seeker. Last year, Kaylynn really wanted to go on the Dragon's Descent, but she was too short. This year she was just tall enough so of course she had to do it! She went with daddy first. He coached her (although she wasn't really scared at all). This ride goes up I don't know how far, sits at the top for 15 seconds then drops! It is a HUGE rush, and I don't even know why I go on it. After daddy took her, she wanted to go again so I took her. I am much more aprehensive and kept saying, "why am I doing this again?" Kaylynn says, "Mom, it's okay, just relax...you will be fine." I love my 8 year old! So we drop, and I scream (yes all the way down), and Kaylynn.....she WAVES to daddy below, and I hear her shouting, "HI DAD!"
Splashtown is full of fun water rides, and the kids enjoyed playing on all of them. It took Kalli some time to get comfortable one them, but once she was, she had a blast. And of course wanted to keep going on the "pink" one because pink is not scary.
Cami stayed with Gramma Kay and Papa Les and had a great time. I had to take this picture (even though it is blurry) because I thought it was so cute that she was wearing Kaylynn's Five Fingers.