Monday, December 03, 2007

Happy Birthday, Lauren!

It is our darling girl's third birthday! She is such a cutie, I can hardly stand it! I took her to the doctor for her check-up, and she was so cute and shy, and always leaning her head toward me to cuddle me. She loves to keep up with her brothers, but she is still such a mother hen. She got a doll and stroller, highchair, carseat, etc. She (and her brothers) cannot get enough of it all. I can't believe I didn't get this stuff sooner--Sarah would have been much less mauled!

It snowed on Friday night--just in time for December! So, the snow novice that I am, I decided to shovel the driveway and sidewalk. YIKES!!!!! Almost two hours later, I was done and sore like I couldn't believe! I am still sore, but I think the novelty of shoveling has definitely worn off. I think I will let Larry do it next time. He's got lots of experience, right? :)

We had Papa O and Mama J to stay for about 5 minutes last week. It is so much fun to have my parents here--they do all sorts of fun things (like fix things around the house--thanks Dad!--and make meals and birthday cakes--thanks Mom!), and I always love to see my kids follow their grandparents around the house. You'd think my parents would get sick of the parade following behind them, but they are so patient and loving! Thanks for coming--come again SOON!!!

As Christmas approaches, I am interested in hearing about YOUR traditions with your families. As long as I can remember, my family has made gingerbread houses. Maybe we love it so much because we are candy-aholics. Who knows? Anyway, let me know what you do! I would love to add some new traditions to our repertoire. Thanks in advance!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Is it Christmas yet?

I am so glad to be decorating so early. It is so festive, and I LOVE it. Maybe next year I will decorate before Halloween (just like all of the stores!). But maybe not. My kids keep asking me why we have our Christmas stuff up and it isn't even Thanksgiving yet. They just don't get it...but they will!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Christmas time is here!

My tree is up. Fa la la la la la la la la.

'Nuf said!

Monday, November 12, 2007

So, is it possible?

I LOVE reading a friend's blog about how she lost 70 pounds with faith and a whole lotta work. And I was wondering today...

Is it possible to be an LDS mom and not have treats for EVERY occasion?

I know some people must because there are thin people in the church, but I can't figure it out.

Every event has to have refreshments (sugary ones, I might add).

Family Home Evening has refreshments (only sugary ones, my family tells me).


Maybe it is because I only go to things where they have refreshments. My bad, I guess.

You don't really see me at lectures or the museum, or classes without the promise of refreshments. But then, I must be training my children to not pay attention to anything that doesn't end with brownies. Maybe that is why they struggle with sacrament meeting. There isn't any treat promised when it is over. (Well, I guess Lauren does get a nursery snack, but since she is the worst behaved one in the bunch, that doesn't hold with my hypothesis, so I will just ignore it!)

I wonder what would happen if we had an activity with no treats. Would everyone decide not to come next time? Is it that ingrained in us as a people? I don't really want to answer that question either.

Maybe that is why I am obsessed with treats. They are a regular part of my routine. If I didn't offer treats at FHE, my family would burn me at the stake. I am NOT kidding. larry would be first in line with the matches (and not just because he won't let the kids touch matches!)

Yet, I am not strong enough to 'Just Say No.' Or maybe I am and I just don't know it because I haven't stretched that way yet.

Just a bunch of silly thoughts. I am kind of embarrassed that I am posting them, but once it is out there, I can't take it back. And that is a good thing. Writing out my thoughts is very enlightening, mostly because I don't think about these things that often. I am usually overwhelmed with trying to find the baby wipes!

Friends and lovers...

OK-kind of a scary title, but just stick with me, you'll get it.

Along the same thought as earlier, the best friends are the ones who inspire you.

Friendship takes a lot of work--time, love, patience, understanding, forgiveness, etc.

But it is so worthwhile.

I have been blessed with many friends who I totally admire and am in awe of.

They are incredible mothers, empathetic listeners, movers and shakers (unfortunately, I am more of a shaker myself), loving wives and friends, and followers of Christ.

Isn't it wonderful to have someone in your life who loves you for who you are and believes you can become even more? A person who knows your weaknesses and is willing to help you overcome them?

As I write this, I am reminded of my very best friend, my dear husband. He loves me when I stink, when I am sick, when I am mean, and when I despair. He has taught me so much about unconditional love. I don't know where I would be without him. I would definitely be much sadder and lonelier. Larry believes in me even when I can't believe in myself. And he thinks I am beautiful.

Am I blessed or what?

Friends lift us up where we belong

Heavenly Father loves me.

One way I know is that He sends me friends that lift me.

I have had many days brightened,

Many burdens lightened,

Frowns changed to smiles,

Frustrations and anxieties understood,

and so much more.

I am grateful for friends--they make us laugh, live, and learn. (and a lot of times, they make us yummy treats--hint, hint).

(why am I so obsessed with food?) :)

Saturday, November 10, 2007


I love belly laughs. Yet, I have a hard time relaxing with a movie. But that all changed when we saw Napoleon Dynamite. I don't think I ever laughed so hard in my entire life. I still laugh when I even think about it. I was reminded today of how much I love to belly laugh and that Napoleon is a wonderful example.

I am going to focus on things I love. I thought I sounded a little grumpy with my anti-Halloween kick the last couple of days.

I love Stan Kenton. For those of you who did not grow up with my dad, I'm sorry! Just kiddin'. The reason I say that is because my dad is an incredible trombone player with great taste in music. I grew up with Stan Kenton, Dave Brubeck, and so many more great musicians. I think big band music is some of my favorite! I just love a good brass section!

So, in my home growing up, it just wasn't Christmas until you heard the opening bars of "O Tannenbaum" by Stan Kenton and his Orchestra. I know you aren't here with me, but I am humming it right now (and if I was super cool, I would put a link to the music right here--, but I am only a little cool, and someone needs to teach me how to do that). It is very subdued (trombones I think, with a little percussion) and then grows and GROWS into a fabulous musical treat.

So, go listen to some Stan Kenton, or anything you like to listen to for Christmas. Go on, i dare you!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Another reason...

I thought of a new reason why I don't like Halloween...


The only music I can think of is "Have you seen the ghost of John?" or our "Boo!" song from Let's Play Music. Oh, and there's always Berlioz's "Symphonie Fantastique" with the head being guillotined at the end (nice image, eh?).

This is why I love Halloween to end. I can officially start the

CHRISTMAS MUSIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now there is a holiday I love--replete (another good vocab word) with excellent music.

Stan Kenton, MoTab, Ella, King's Singers--you're on for the duration!

So, everyone, get out some Christmas music and let's celebrate that Halloween is OVER!!

(And yes, I did have some candy last night :( Oh well, there's always today to "Just Say No!")

Thursday, November 08, 2007

True confessions

Why do I check in on everyone else's blog EVERY SINGLE DAY and then just disgustedly skip my own because I know I am a blog-slacker and don't want to be reminded? (did I just answer my own question?)

Well, sickness has invaded our happy home. I don't want to gross you out with the details, but just know that I am doing A LOT of laundry! Oh, boy. I am just livin' in the laundry room!

I know I may be the only one, but I don't like Halloween. Maybe it is because my raging sweet tooth has millions of opportunities to satiate itself (nice word, huh?), or maybe it is because my craftiness reaches its limits after about 2 seconds of brainstorming about costumes. Or maybe it is because I am the biggest wimp in the world when it comes to scary stuff. I just know that I breathe a sigh of relief when November 1st comes around, and I have made it through yet another Halloween without my kids needing to go trick or treating in their birthday suits!

I am also very limited in my own costume. I have a super-cute Halloween apron that I picked up from the Relief Society rummage table a few years back, and that is all she wrote. I tell everyone that I am dressed as a domestic goddess (which is definitely a science fiction for me), and I get a few laughs. But not many. And I am okay with that. Really.

So, I am standing next to the hiding place of the Halloween candy (i am the only one who knows where it is) wondering if I am going to indulge. Maybe. Darn that Halloween!

Stay tuned--i might post more than once this month! :)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I'm trying to set a record

I don't think I have ever posted three times in one day (many of you may be thinking--she doesn't even post three times in a month), but I almost forgot!!!


We love our Auntie so much. We'll be thinking of you as we devour a box of mini-donuts. Hope you are having a SPECTACULAR day!

She's alive and kicking

I just read my post, and I thought that the comment about my mom's example of service made her sound like she was dead or something. Perish the thought! She is alive and kicking, to our great delight. And we hope to report the same for MANY years to come.

(Maybe I am just paranoid, and none of you thought that my comment sounded like an obituary. Just wanted to make sure we were all on the same page!) :)


I just love a first snow. Actually, I love any snow. Having spent almost all of my formative years in sunny California (and many more after), I get so excited about the white stuff. And my children do not fall far from the tree. Today was a grey, wet day until at about 5:30 tonight when I hear, "MOM, IT'S SNOWING!!!!" All three of my children who walk were running around the front room, screaming in delight. I joined them in their enthusiasm. Yet, the practical mother inside me said, It is too cold for them to go outside. Besides, it will be dark in a little while. I have to find their winter clothes in the garage. We'll wait for another day to play in the snow. Then, BAM! The kid in me woke up. It is the first snowfall, you stick-in-the-mud Mom. Let them play!! I am happy to say that I listened to the aforementioned kid, and I let my kids loose in the yard with promises of chicken noodle soup and cocoa when they were done. Oh, how I LOVE snow. I am glad I let them experience it, too. They were making snow monsters and chasing each other around the yard. Next time I'll be out there with them, with Sarah in tow.

On another note, I have been thinking a lot about service today. My mother was a tireless example of service to all those around her. I want to set the same example for my children. Does anyone have any good ideas about serving with a family of small children? I want my kids to know that, even if they think they are deprived of many things, they don't know the first thing about real deprivation. I don't want them to be depressed, mind you, I just want them to experience how other people live and to be grateful for the opportunities to share with others instead of always thinking of ourselves. OK, that was a really long-winded way to say--Any ideas for serving with a young family?

Monday, September 17, 2007

This Day

So, I am not procrastinating anymore.

Here I am, the day after having a lesson on Elder Henry B. Eyring's talk (,5232,23-1-690-32,00.html) about not waiting for "someday" to do what I need to do in my life, and I am ON IT!!!

Seriously, this talk touched me deeply. I was riveted on his talk from the moment he said, "We will weep, and He will weep, if we have intended to repent and to serve Him in tomorrows which never came or have dreamt of yesterdays where the opportunity to act was past."

I don't want to weep (or gnash my teeth) because I just didn't get around to kicking habits and breaking cycles that I always intended to kick and break. There is no time like the present. That has never been my motto, but I think it will be now. I have always been a "well, I can get away with doing it tomorrow, so why should I do it today? NO MORE!!!!

I urge all of you to read (or re-read) this talk and get pumped about "this day." I know I am!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I have a new favorite

Ok, I am pretty tech-savvy, but I am embarrassed to say that I may not know how to do what I want to do. And of course, Larry isn't around for me to ask him. I have a new favorite blog. One of larry's best friends just shared his blog with us. It is a collection of stories he remembers from growing up in Barnwell. I love reading it because it gives me a little more detailed glimpse into the wonderful place Larry grew up (and crazy too, if some of the stories are to be believed!). While I was on his blog, I clicked the link to one of his favorite blogs titled, "A Waist is a Terrible Thing to Mind." Well, as you can imagine, I laughed out loud at that title and started reading. What a treasure! So, now you know. My new favorite blog is

Okay, now the tech thing I don't know how to do is make all those yucky colons and backslashes go away and just leave the blog title. Many (and probably all) of you reading this blog are saying "Duh, everyone knows how to retitle a link" (is that what you call it? Now I am really showing my tech-illiteracy). Well, I don't. And I am not ashamed to say it. This is very much my modus operandi (M.O.). I don't care how it gets done (in other words, it doesn't have to be pretty), I just want it to work. Perfection, in most areas, is not my cup of tea. My baby quilts have lumps and the squares don't always line up, my pictures are "mostly" level on the walls, my lawn-cutting is "pretty okay", my running is "not-too-slow", and my meals are mostly edible (none of my family are starving :). So you see, I don't have patience for perfection in most of the things I do. However, I am pretty adamant that things "work" the way they are supposed to. For example: a lumpy baby quilt still keeps a little one warm and protected, the semi-level pictures hung on my walls still bring a smile to my face when I look at them, the cut lawn keeps most of the neighbors appeased, I can keep running for a specified amount of time, and, as I said, no one is starving in my family. Now, if I could only apply this non-perfectionism to how I view myself, I'd be one step ahead of the game. I give myself a very hard time for not being a perfect mom, wife, and size 6. I torture myself for not being as creative as so-and-so, as patient as you-know-who, as beautiful as what'shername, etc., etc. But I mostly believe that I have worth. I can kick-butt on the piano (but why do I need to kick anyone's butt? it isn't a competition!), and I know I can sing. Why do I have to compete? How insane is it to suggest that by comparing myself to others and coming out the "winner" will make me feel good about myself? The trick is to rejoice in others' blessings and talents. I am still learning how to do that. Hopefully in truly loving and treasuring others, I can truly love and treasure myself. Now, don't go thinking that I am depressed or anything, I am just trying to be honest about where I am now so that I can figure out how to get to where I want to be. That place is where I know that I am a wonderful wife, mother, friend, and daughter of God. Where I know I am beautiful on the inside and out. Where I have developed the talents of faith, hope, and charity and they are blessing my family and myself. I know where I want to be, and with the Lord's help I will get there.

That brings me to my new favorite blog (see the non-streamlined link above :). "A waist is a terrible thing to mind" is one woman's journey of faith to lose weight. You may be saying, "Oh, not another weight-loss story." Well it is. And I like to read the success stories in the hope that someday it may be me to write that story. However, even if you don't like reading stuff like that, I hope you'll at least take a look. This woman is writing (very openly and honestly) about how she lost 70 pounds. Now that is significant, but the most amazing thing is how she did it. Prayer. That is the key. How she relied on that, you'll have to read for yourself. It has really inspired me to "trust in the Lord" even in this seemingly insignificant area of life. The bottom line is that if it is important to me, it is important to Him because He loves me. How wonderful is that?!

Anyway, that is enough philosophizing for me today because I hear the pattering (more like cupboard-slamming, package-rustling) of little feet in the kitchen. Better go batten down the hatches!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


You know how your mind drifts as you are shoveling food into a baby's mouth? (or maybe that's just me :)

I just figured out that apart from Santa Barbara and Spain, I have lived only in cities that start with O, N or P for the last 28 years! How's that for a pattern? I grew up in Newark, CA (since 1979), then moved to Provo for college, then on to Spain for a mission (we're not counting cities in which I served there), then back to Provo to finish school and marry my sweetheart. Then we moved to Newark, NY, for 18 months, onto Santa Barbara, then Oxnard, Ogden, and lastly, Orem.

What's even more cool is the N, O, and P are neighbors in the alphabet. Neat, huh? (Yes, my mind is always spinning with exciting information like this--imagine what it is like for Larry to talk to a loony like me all the time! :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

News Flash...

WE MOVED! After a year in Ogden, we tearfully said goodbye to that fair city (which we LOVED, by the way!), and became Orem-ites! One of Larry's business partners purchased an amazing home for real estate investment, and we are the lucky winners that get to live in it! (thanks Troy and Diana!) It definitely has plenty of room, so if anyone wants to take a trip to Utah, you can stay at the Johnson hotel (you may even get your own room! :)

We hated leaving Ogden, the Brandleys, Farr better ice cream, etc., but we are loving our new digs. If I can locate the camera in all of the chaos, I will take pictures to post here. This time I am really going to send a "new address" email, so be waiting for it, ok? If you don't get it in the next 48 hours, CHECK YOUR EMAIL! Then you can either post here, or call us: 805-890-3537.

Oh yeah...Sarah can now crawl, she has two teeth, and pulls herself up to stand. Is she amazing or what? And, in true Johnson fashion, she can down a bowl of rice cereal and peaches in no time flat! Just don't come near her if you want to keep your pizza crust--she is absolutely obsessed!

We love all of you and beg your forgiveness for not being very regular bloggers--but I do have a pretty good excuse: we decided to move and moved in 8 days. How's that for speedy? See if you can top that, Tara! :)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Oh boy!

It has been a long time since I blogged, so as you can imagine, there is a lot to say. However, first and most important,

Hadland got baptized this month!!!!

We are so proud of him--it was a special day for all of us! We were so blessed to have had all of Hadland's grandparents there as well as several aunties and uncles! What an amazing experience for our family. Grandpa Wood gave a wonderful talk that Hadland and William were riveted to (that is a miracle in and of itself). We had a lot of help with our little girls (thanks Darla and Delyle!), so it was a novel experience to actually listen to the program. One tends to forget how all-encompassing having children can be (or maybe we can never forget!).

Also, Daddy went away to CA for a business trip, so Mommy decided to suprise him with a new haircut. It was fun to get a totally new style, and believe it or not, I am actually having fun styling it. Now I just have to figure out how to have fun with my face, and I'll be set. Where are you, Tiffany, when I need you? :)

Monday, April 30, 2007

William takes to the road--for real!

Well, our William is amazing. Not that any of you are surprised. But we took off the training wheels tonight and within minutes he was riding his bike! We have some videos to share with you as well as photos.
Video #1-- This is William's tour de force! He totally rocked this by going all the way from one end of the street to the other starting and stopping by himself.

Video #2-- Larry wanted me to include this because it made him laugh so hard. This is me being an multi-tasking overprotective Mom. I was trying to take the video and make sure he didn't crash. You can imagine the rest (but you don't have to--you can watch it!). Just make sure to turn down your volume because I have a little bit of a "loud issue" as Larry puts it. But in my defense, it isn't really my fault that the microphone is right by my face (when I'm taking the footage). However I realize that I have a very piercing voice especially at close range :)

These other pictures are just ones I couldn't pass up putting on the blog. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Just kidding!

Well, Sarah WAS finally sleeping through the night, and then...yep, you guessed it--She got sick and is back sleeping with us. Major bummer! Can you be more tired than totally sleep deprived? Is that possible? Well, I am livin' it!

Life in Ogden is good. The weather today was AMAZING!! Not a cloud in the sky--I just love that! I am looking forward to gardening a bit (although I am missing my year-round garden in Oxnard) and sitting out on the back lawn looking up at the clouds. If I could just get my dishes done, I could play! How is that for motivation?

I just got the invite to the Wood family reunion for this summer (BTW, so glad I am not in charge!), and I am so excited to head to the beach! I can't wait for all the food, family, and fun! (and maybe not in that order).

We just set up an "art studio" and reading corner for the kids in the basement. Now I just need to find a good garage sale recliner to go down there and we can actually spend a day not huddled around the TV! What an idea!!!

I just realized that we only have a little more than a month of school left. Yikes! Where has this year gone? We just purchased a work of art by a little known (but very talented) young artist. You may have heard of him...Hadland Johnson's the name. His school had an art sale and we were just able to afford a masterpiece featuring a vase full of flowers. Very inspiring, indeed! Larry and I were just commenting to each other that it was most definitely better than anything we could have done at that age and quite possibly better than either of us could do now. I know that art must not be genetic--both of H's parents are very artistically challenged (visual arts, that is). Just in case you are wondering about our self esteem, we are aware of our many and varied talents in artistic and other areas! I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sleeping through the night--a paradox

So, I know I am not the only one who experiences this paradox.

We are "helping" Sarah sleep through the night by not going to her when she cries. Whatever you may personally think, this is the method, albeit difficult, that works best for our family.

So last night I put her to bed at about 9 p.m. I was so ready for her to go to bed. Not that she was misbehaving, but she just hung on with those wide-open eyes for so long. So off to dreamland she went.

At about 11 p.m. I still hadn't heard even a peep from her. But I didn't want to go check on her for fear that I would wake her, so I just turned on the monitor. And I tried to sleep.

At about 1 a.m., when Larry finally came to bed, I told him I was petrified with fear because I still hadn't heard anything, NOT ANY NOISE AT ALL, from her. So he decided to go and check on her. He was gone a long time, and when he came back, he told me how scared he had been when he went in to check on her because she was sleeping so soundly that he couldn't tell if she was breathing or not. After trying to feel her breath, watch for the chest rising and falling, etc., he finally uncovered her and put his hand on her chest to check for breathing. And of course she was, and she finally moved. And she didn't wake up, either. Amazing. Not until 7 a.m. this morning. I think she cried for a few minutes at 4 a.m., but I wasn't going to reinforce that time of wake-up!

Ah, the paradoxes of parenting.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Hadland is finally eight!

Well, we have an eight-year-old child! Yikes--who knew!!!

Hadland turned eight years old on Friday, and we have been partying all weekend!

By the way, thank you to everyone to sent Hadland an email. He LOVED getting all the cyber-attention!

First, on Friday, he had Lucky Charms for breakfast (he chose that over homemade pancakes with peaches and cream--that wouldn't be my choice, that is for sure!). Then he took homemade cupcakes (white cake with lemon frosting--again, his choice :) to school with him. After school he played for a while until we went as a family to Golden Corral (yep, you guessed it, Hadland's choice). After that, he finally got to play with his remote control airplane he got as a gift from G & G Wood. Actually, Larry got to play with it (so he could figure it out for Hadland). Coincidentally, Larry went to get an airplane yesterday. Go figure.

Saturday was just as good for our boy. He got to take three of his friends out to see "Meet the Robinsons" with Dad, Uncle Scott and cousins Nate and Clarissa. Afterwards, the whole group came home to eat pizza and then decorate and eat their own cupcake creations. The kids had a great time, and it was pretty low key for all the adults involved. Gotta love that! To top it all off, Hadland and Dad went shopping for Larry's new toy and then got to go to McD's and to see "TMNT." Quite a weekend for our birthday boy!

Today I sang in church. It was an adventure to say the least. In our ward, the person doing the special music actually prepares two pieces to share. Darla, my wonderful sister-in-law, accompanied me AND helped take care of the kids during sacrament meeting. However, when both Darla and I left right after the sacrament to go to the stand, Lauren pitched an amazing fit. She didn't want Auntie to leave her (mom is chopped liver when Darla is around) and wasn't going to keep quiet about it. Poor Larry was left with all four kids, two of whom needed to be held. I am up there on the stand, singing along, when I hear an incredible ruckus from the back of the room. I didn't even have to look--I knew that scream. Needless to say, Lauren and I competed for everyone's attention until Larry to flee into the foyer. Yikes! We went back down to sit with the kids until the next time I needed to sing. When Larry came in with Lauren, she actually said thank you to him when he set her in Darla's lap. What nerve! She sure is a cheeky monkey! I thought it might be a good idea for Larry and the girls to spend my next song out in the foyer, and it made a big difference. I think the people in the congregation could actually hear what I was singing! Oh my--what parents go through, right?

Another bit of news from us--we are trying to get baby Sarah to sleep through the night. Translation--we have been listening to her cry in the night a lot. It is all I can do to not run to her. I have to put a pillow over my head to not go crazy. If anyone has any good advice, we're not to proud to ask for it! She is doing better everyday, so I am hopeful we won't be suffering like this much longer. She's so darn cute that I can hardly stand to let her cry!

The next adventure will be to take away Lauren's pacifier. I am not looking forward to that! Once again, if you have any non-horror stories about this, we'd love to hear from you!

Friday, April 06, 2007

So much fun, so little time to blog!

Boy, has it really been almost a month? YIKES!! Well, I am loving the internet right now because I can blog from anywhere!!!! Our family is enjoying Spring Break in Denver. Four of the seven Johnson siblings have descended on Ray and Val's house, and we are having so much fun (and eating them out of house and home, I think)! We've been to the zoo (yes, we even saw the hippos and sang "I-I-I just wanna be a hippo!), swimming, on a picnic, to a real blacksmith shop and barn, had ice cream, birthday cake, lots of snacks, and watched some fun movies on the BIG SCREEN downstairs. All the cousins are playing their hearts out and the adults get to catch up on all the visiting (and games, too) that we love so much. I JUST LOVE FAMILY!!

Hadland lost his tooth last week, so now he looks really cool (but Rachel lost her two front teeth, so she looks just a bit cooler). Lauren can say "play" "go" and can sign a WHOLE bunch of things. Sarah is just about ready to sit up by herself, and she is on to some new foods as well. I think Larry is chomping at the bit to feed her some Doritos and chocolate. Will someone please tell him to chill? He thinks that if he likes it, the baby should get some, too. Oh, boy. I think if he changes a few more "real food" diapers, he might be convinced to take this food introduction stuff a little slower. At least that is what I'm hoping. And I get vacation from diaper duty :)

I just turned 35 yesterday!! I had a great birthday--I got to go work out with Darla (no kids in tow), and I got to stay home in a quiet house (rare occasion) while the daddies and Auntie Val took all the kids (except the babies) to the pool. That may not sound very exciting, but believe me, it was AWESOME! Then I got a yummy dinner and my fave bday cake of angel food cake with whipped cream and strawberries. The kids wrapped up some presents and sang to me (which was even cooler than the quiet afternoon), and Larry (with some help from Val) got me some flowers and lotion. Add to that some wonderful phone calls from family and friends, and I had a FABULOUS birthday. Thank you so much for all your thoughts and good wishes--you all ROCK!

We woke up this morning to snow! Can you believe it? I know it is only the beginning of April, but earlier this week we got sunburned noses on some of our outings. Weather sure can change quickly here in the high country!

I almost forgot...My sweet husband (with help from his baby-sitting sisters) took me to the temple this morning. It was a wonderful experience, and the perfect end to my birthday. My mom always told me that she wished that I was born on April 6 so that I could share my birthday with a very special Elder Brother. When we entered the temple, the worker reminded us that it was extra special to be in the temple today on the anniversary of Christ's birth. Then, knowing that it was the Friday before Easter, it is also the day we commemorate His death on the cross. And what is even more wonderful is that in two days we will CELEBRATE His resurrection. What an incredible time of year to think of our Savior and His life and all He did for us. I am deeply grateful to Him that He paid a terrible price to free me from my sins, weaknesses, sadnesses, and so much more. He loves me, and He loves you. What a gift!

Happy Easter everyone! We love you!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I love it!

My kids' smiles make me so happy! For Family Home Evening, we went on a walk to explore our neighborhood. We found the neighborhood school, and the kids had a blast playing at the playground. For almost the whole time we were there, we had the place to ourselves. I watched the kids help and torture each other (usually not at the same time). I never heard so many giggles! Lauren was hilarious--she loved being chased down the slide by Hadland. What a blessing to have this little slice of joy!

Sarah ate TWO bowls of rice cereal today. We are hoping for some serious snoozing tonight! We will let you know how it goes...

By the way, today felt like SPRING!! I love warm weather, and today was a treat. I even dressed Sarah in a little dress (short sleeves, bare legs)! It feels like California today--hooray!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

A day of feasting!

Spiritually, that is! Larry and I gave talks in Sacrament Meeting today, and we actually feel pretty good about it. Except for the fact that our kids had an absolute FIELD DAY!! So, what do you do when, as you begin your talk, your two-year-old suddenly decides to come join you at the pulpit? Only to run through the choir seats when her embarrassed daddy comes up to retrieve her. Topped only by her brothers following daddy up to the stand?! YIKES!! And I was nervously beginning my talk so that I didn't even notice until out of the corner of my eye, I saw four people walking conga-style down the stairs of the stand. Yep, you guessed it! The amazing Johnson family strikes again. Needless to say, Darla jumped in to help corral our little ones, leaving Scott to take care of her three kids (quite well, I might add). Whew, I am getting tired just thinking about all the commotion. I think our pew was definitely the most lively today!

We spoke on a talk given by Elder Bednar in October General Conference entitled, "And Nothing Shall Offend Them." You can find it at this address:,5232,23-1-646-32,00.html

Talk about a powerhouse talk. If you haven't read it in a while, I urge you to do so. Elder Bednar invites us to choose not to be offended if someone hurts our feelings. Boy, I need this everyday. When we are offended, usually the only one hurting is ourselves. We need to be like Pahoran when he responded to Moroni's scathing letter (see Alma 60-61), "In your epistle you have censured me, but it mattereth not; I am not angry, but do rejoice in the greatness of your heart." Elder Bednar also reminds us of how Brigham Young responded to Joseph Smith's humiliating censure -- humbly asking what he could do to improve--NOT retaliating or getting defensive and offended. What amazing examples!

I am not sleeping very much at night, but I am doing a lot better. But, I am also looking forward to hitting the sack. See ya!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I'm better, thanks!

Thank you for all your kindness. It is good to be surrounded by wonderful family and friends. I am grateful for all of your long-distance hugs and good wishes.

Things are a little better--if someone could just convince Sarah to sleep longer than 1 1/2 hours at a time at night. Larita, I don't know how you have survived this long. You are amazing.

Enough of the gloomy stuff. I am so grateful to be a wife and mother. I have a loving husband and four beautiful children. They are a bunch of whippersnappers, but I love them just the same. Most of all, I am grateful to my Savior, Jesus Christ, for His love, patience, and mercy. He makes it all better. Really. I can go through anything because I know He understands and will help me make it through. He helps me believe that I am not a loser after all!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Do you ever feel like you are the only loser in the whole world?

Well, that's where I am right now.

Let's hope it doesn't last long...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

3-day weekend sickies

How is it that whenever there is a 3-day weekend someone always gets sick (or more than one someone).

This weekend we all stayed home from church (larry got to go to sacrament meeting) lest we "share, share, share" all our coughing, runny noses, fever germs. It takes a very special person to make Sunday feel like the Sabbath even when you can't make it to church.

Hadland said to me today, "Mom, this day is SOOOO long." I replied, "I know. It makes a difference when we don't go to church, doesn't it?" He agreed. Then added, "I don't think I want to miss church again, ok?" You bet, buddy!

I have to say that I am very glad that we have BYUTV. I have watched a Women's Conference address by Ardeth Kapp a couple of times today entitled, "Encircled about in the arms of His love." Good stuff!!

We'll see what tomorrow brings. I am just grateful that there is no vomiting (knock on wood). I'll take runny noses anyday.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Boy, has V-Day changed!!

I think that as you go along in life, you just "keep swimmin'!" Valentine's Day used to be a big bone of contention in our marriage. I, of course, wanted the flowers and chocolate, perfume, jewelry, whatever the media said that romance dictates. Larry would say that it was just a commercialized thing to sell more candy. He would bring them on Feb. 1 or Oct. 28 or June 13. I would feel sorry for myself and buy me a candy bar or something.

Then life goes on. Like yesterday.

I took all the kids to take pictures at the department store (mostly because I don't have a Cherie or a Tara who lives near me ;), and when I got home literally hours later, I was ready to surrender for the day. It hit me that I didn't want the big "wine and dine" rigamarole, I just wanted the kids to go to bed and be by ourselves. No chocolate, no jewelry, just TIME ALONE.

So finally, at about 9:30 p.m., I sat down on the couch next to my honey. We shared a bottle of Martinelli's and wished each other a happy valentine's day. How my wishes have changed. I don't need anything to make me happy, I just need my special someone!

But, Larry, if you are reading this, I still do like flowers :)

I love you, honey!

Monday, February 12, 2007

I took a step out into the dark today!!

I know this sounds like I did something amazing, but it may seem amazing only to me. I put together a photo collage including each member of our family. I am going to try to post it here, but if you don't see it, I was not successful! :(

I just saw it, and I am bummed that it is so grainy. But you can just email me, and I will send you the digital image so you can see all of us in our loving glory!

Today Sarah turns four months old, and she had her first taste of rice cereal. She was really excited about it, but I couldn't tell if it was because I was holding something in my hand that she wanted to touch or that she really wanted the food. Needless to say, we have embarked on a new journey with her. The bet is on to see if she sleeps longer at night (Larry sure thinks she will).

Friday, February 09, 2007

Lauren gets affectionate...

And Sarah gets annoyed. I know I have already blogged today, but I saw this picture and just had to post it. Lauren LOVES to hug and kiss her sister. However, Sarah sees things from a different perspective. The look on her face in this photo just sums it all up. I can just hear Sarah thinking, "She's a great sister and all, but does she have to always be touching me?"

Gotta love the siblings!

Special friend day!

Hadland had a very important event at school today--Special Friend Day! Each of the second graders at his school got to choose a "special friend" to spotlight. It had to be an adult but not mom or dad. He chose his Grandma Johnson. He wrote a nice tribute to her and drew a FABULOUS picture of his beautiful grandma. But the best part of all was that, although Grandma lives in Canada, she was able to attend the special friend day. What a treat for Hadland (and for Grandma)! We love our family so much, and we are so grateful to have them with us when we can!!! Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa Johnson, for being here today!!!!


Thursday, February 08, 2007

She's a rollin'!!

Sarah is officially rolling over! She has been rolling over quite a lot, but tonight I am making it official! The reason...? You might have guessed it...the couch! I left her for about one second so I could grab something on the table. As I was about to walk around the corner, I took a quick look back only to see her perched, on her side, at the edge of the couch. Mom-adrenaline kicked in and I made it back to save her from falling. YIKES!!!!! Let's just say she will be chillin' on the floor from now on!

Here's a look at what our little darlin' can do...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Happy Birthday Melissa!!

I was just getting my daily dose of visiting my friends' blogs, and I saw the Basuas: Adam did a big video montage of pictures of Melissa through the years. She's finally turned 30--Welcome to the club! You are such a GREAT mom. All the pictures just made me realize all over again what a great person she is. We are so grateful for all of our wonderful friends! We love all of you so much, and we miss you!

We had a terrific visit with a lot of family in the last week or so, and for that we say THANK YOU!! Thanks to Larita (and Ethan), Val, Doug, Delyle, Shauri and their family, Larry's Mom and Dad (who, incidentally, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this week--CONGRATULATIONS and WE LOVE YOU!), my Mom and Dad, Nikki and Treas, Michael, Uncle Preston, Aunt Maurine and their family, the Browns (who are almost family, right?), and so many more! We are so blessed with a great family!!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Belly laughing...

I love friends that can make you laugh til it hurts. I just heard Larry on the phone with our dear friend Alexis. She is the BEST for belly laughing.

We love you, Alexis!!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sarah's Blessing Day!

This past Sunday our angel Sarah Joy was blessed by her daddy. It was a sweet experience surrounded by family and friends. We were so glad to have all four grandparents here with us as well as many aunties, uncles, and cousins! We are so grateful to have such a supportive family.

Here are a few of the pictures. I am sad to say that I do not have good camera skills (unlike many of my friends), but at least you can get an idea of what she looked like. Her beautiful cousin Grace was blessed the same day, so I will put a picture of her as well!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

We almost forgot Larry!

I noticed as I put the pictures on the last post, the only person I didn't get was Larry. Lest he should feel left out, here is a picture of my sweetie pie. Isn't he handsome? And Sarah's not too bad, either!

I got it goin' on!!!

I finally sat Larry down and made him help me put pictures on my here goes!

Introducing Sarah! She just turned three months old, and she is a DARLING!!!! She has two ear infections (nice gift, eh?) and is coughing hard enough to make herself vomit (sorry to the queasy stomach people!). But she is as cute as can be and has been a trooper through it all. We love you baby Sarah!

Lauren is a hoot! Her new things are "mo" (means no) and "boo" (peekaboo). Typing out the words just isn't the same--you gotta hear her say them!

William is William. He keeps me on my toes. His new thing is telling me that he needs lipstick. I keep reminding him it is chapstick he needs, but I guess he likes the sound of lipstick better. We read an I Spy book tonight--he is quite the observer!

Hadland's goal in life is to ruin every photo he is in with his goofy faces. Maybe I will someday embrace the goofiness, but it might not be today!

We're finally on our blog--hip, hip, hooray!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The snow is here!!!

I am so happy today! The snow has finally come. I went out and played (and shoveled snow) with William and Lauren, and we had a GREAT time.

It is the little things that make a difference. Some snow and some cocoa (stirred with candy canes)--it just doesn't get any better than that!!!

Its been snowing all morning and the view from my front room is incredible!

Life is good!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

We made it!

We finally made it through the holidays and into the new year. We really enjoyed our time with family and friends, and we are also enjoying returning to normal bedtimes! We missed having a white Christmas, but we are hoping that we will see some more white stuff soon!

We are still working on our holiday greeting (which is now our New Year's greeting and will be our Valentine greeting if we don't hurry up!), but I am hopeful that it will be emailed soon! Thank you to all of you who sent us holiday cards, pictures, updates, etc.--we absolutely LOVE receiving them!!!

Thank you for tuning in to our blog--I love doing it, and I hope you like hearing about us.

Happy 2007!