Saturday, November 28, 2009


Mitch's Grandma. This is probably one of my favorite pictures of the day. And I am oh so THANKFUL for this beautiful woman. She is such a strong spirit and she is truely an inspiration. The best part is that she does it without even trying. One of the most kind hearted and funny people I know.

this face is the one that you get when you say, "Would you like some yams?" lol... just kidding though, I am a wierdo and yams are my fav. =)

ahhhh, PIE!! Glorious PIE!! It all goes straight to my hips, but ya know what... I don't care. *cue sir mixalot's song.... "I like big butts and I cannot lie..."

Due to the fact that the temperature was around 70 degrees, we sent the kids out to play on the trampoline. I *LOVE LOVE LOVE* the crazy hair! it reminds me of Ellie on "UP".

And the perfect ending to an absolutely beautiful day. I am thankful for the a wonderful husband and kids. I am thankful that I can trust my heart. I am thankful for my faith. I am thankful for laughter. And so many, many other things.

Monday, November 23, 2009

family pictues '09

"Pretend to walk..." Apparently Mitch thinks that means STOMP!! lol...

Now everyone look at the camera... UGGGHH. No Brittany, the camera is not lodged into the treetops... greeaaatt. (very typical Brittany though, gazing off into space. I may hang this one on the wall just to teach her a lesson.)lol

AH! it is a good one! FINALLY!!

Not loving the pole in this one, but other than that it isn't bad either.

Everyone is looking, everyone is smiling, except Mitch, and he doesn't ever smile, so it is PERFECT! =) finally, something acceptable to hang on the wall. A HUGE thanks to Keli, for playing photographer... and Mary for the use of your back yard! LOVE IT!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

'tis ALMOST the season...

So we have decked the halls. My excuse is that I work in retail and from Thanksgiving night at Midnight until December 24th I am booked solid. But the real reason is that I am sooooo EXCITED for Christmas this year!

I used to think that a Christmas tree was only beautiful if it was adorned it sparkly expensive looking decor. Not because that is what I had growing up... oh no. My childhood Christmas trees were always shabby, and not shabby chic either. When I moved out on my own I promised myself that I would not be a hilbilly. I broke the promise because I had children. Glass and shiny things are not so good with children. Glass breaks and kids are alot like racoons when it comes to shiny things. Not to mention what on earth am I supposed to do with the hundreds of ornaments the kids have made in school and church???? they certaily don't look very nice next to diamonds and pearls. and so... Our tree is all "HOME~MADE" this year. (except the tree itself which is of course faker than a 3 dollar bill) There are a few ornaments that were given to us from friends that we put up as well.

I just love a shabby chic' Christmas tree.

And of course... we must always remember the reason for the season.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Treasure Hunt

Drayden got out his Metal detector today. He is a professional treasure hunter. Along with his daddy. *snicker* They are both DETERMINED to find something amazing.

Since Drayden has a gimpy hand (due to those stitches last week) He hired Chantel to be his designated "digger". She was so excited to play with Drayden, I don't think they even discussed payment.

Thats right, thats the spot... dig.... come on.... why aren't you digging?? (I had to explain to Drayden that the dirt here is VERY hard to dig in. and even with the rain yesterday it is pretty solid.)

We found several screws, nails, a few unidentified rusty things (I am sure daddy will know exactly what they are, but I have NO clue.) a washer, part of a spoon, a 6 foot piece of rebar (seriously Chantel was trying to pull it out of the ground and it just kept on coming!... lol) and THIS................

A pretty little silver ring, just Chantel's size. I guess she got her payment after all. =) Now Drayden gets to rub it in his daddy's face, he actually found something worth keeping! =) and right in our own front yard. Sometimes, in treasure hunting, and in life you have to find and discard alot of CRAP, but if you are patient and never give up, You will find your reward. =)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

December 23, 1996

With the holidays approaching my heart is drawn to this day in particular. This is a journal related memory. DISCLAIMER: It was a really long day...

I opened my eyes and looked out the window. The earth was blanketed in white from the freshly fallen snow. I was instantly excited. School was out and I couldn't think of a better way to spend my Christmas vacation than sledding. I was lucky to live on Frost Lane. One of the best sledding hills in town. There was just enough slope at the top that with the right push off a person could coast all the way to the bottom of the road. (which was really long).

I jumped out of bed and without bothering with breakfast or brushing my teeth I bundled up and headed out the door. Much to my delight my dad had thought ahead. He knew me so well. He had gotten the sled down from the rafters in the garage before leaving for work. My sisters and friends gathered at the top of Frost Lane. We spent the entire day sledding. We built ramps, and jumps, and all manner of entertaining and dangerous things like that. When we were waiting our turn we would make snow angels and have snowball fights. It was so fun.

The sun was setting and we knew our moms would be calling us for dinner. We decided to call it a day. The road was a sheet of ice. It was so slippery I remember sliding to my house in my snow boots. We got home and ate dinner. I was SUPER excited because we were going to deliver some Christmas gifts to our neighbors as soon as Dad got home from work. We had worked so hard on the gifts. We made blankets for every member of their family. I couldn't wait to see the looks on their faces. Dad got home and said he wasn't feeling so well. He decided that he would come with us to deliver the blankets. The neighbors LOVED their gifts. We went home with happy hearts.

As soon as we got back home my dad collapsed onto the couch. He was gasping for breath and clutching his chest. It took only one moment for me to understand that something was very wrong. I remember my mom calling 911. "911, do you have an emergency?" ~ "Yes this is Doodie Johnson. My husband is having a heart attack. We need an ambulance. Please hurry." At the words "HEART ATTACH" my own heart skipped a beat. Dad had a heart attack a few years back. They did some artery excavation and told him he needed to watch his diet. I specifically remember the doctor saying, "You need to be very careful Verl, your heart won't survive another one like that." My 12 year heart sank. I looked into my daddy's colorless face and the gravity of the situation sank in.

My uncles gave my dad a blessing and I remember them saying "Thy will be done." I had never heard that in a blessing before. It was always things like, "We bless you with strength, or we bless that you will be made whole." After the blessing it was time to go to the hospital.

The ambulance was there in minutes. The house was buzzing with activity. There were so many people. My aunt Lolly stayed with us while my mom rode in the ambulance. I remember kissing his forehead and saying, "Bye daddy, I love you." He was in too much pain to respond, but I looked into his eyes and I saw that he loved me too.

The ambulance didn't fare so well on the trip back up Frost Lane. That little bit of a hill that was slick as an ice skating rink and perfect for sledding, was not so perfect for driving. I watched the flashing lights out my kitchen window for over an hour. The stress finally got to be too much for me. I felt so guilty. It was my fault that the road was slick. Finally the Ambulance got onto the main road. The nearest hospital was over an hour away.

We were sitting at home waiting for news. Aunt Lolly did a great job of distracting us. We played games, watched movies, and were having a great time really. About midnight the phone rang. Aunt Lolly answered it and talked for just a moment. She wouldn't tell us anything except that my mom was on her way home and she would update us when she got there.

Mom arrived home with wet, red puffy eyes. It only took one glance and we were all up to date. Daddy was gone. We hugged and cried and not much was said. My mom was exhausted and we were sent off to bed. We were all just lying there sobbing. My uncle Shane came over and got us out of bed. He gave everyone a blessing. We were able to get some sleep. When I awoke on Christmas eve the feeling was surreal. I wanted it all to be a bad dream, but I knew that it was all too real.

My Daddy was gone. I didn't quite know how to go on. Life around me seemed to move in slow motion. Every interaction was forced and unnatural. Slowly the days turned into weeks, the weeks turned into months, and of course melted into years. Nothing really HEALS, time dulls the ache, but with every passing year I can't help but wish that I had my daddy here to see me get married. To hold my babies, and rub his whiskers on their toes. I have felt his presence, and I know he watches over me.

With Christmas waiting just around the bend I cannot help but have feelings of my dad. I miss him alot. I know with all my heart that I will see him again. And I know that everything happens for a reason. We must take the tests and trials of life and use them to make ourselves more Christ like. I feel like I grew up alot that Christmas. I learned which things in life really matter. I learned that I am so grateful for Jesus Christ.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

more stitches...

My poor little Drayden.
He was cleaning the kitchen. There was a Mason jar full of water on the table. He was taking it over to the sink when he slipped, he fell and the jar shattered. He landed right in the middle of the pile of glass. I was at work. Luckily Mitch was home. He took him to insta-care. They did some x-rays to make sure there was no glass stuck in his hand anywhere. Then they gave him some shots in his wrist that were supposed to numb his hand... They got 1/2 of a stitch done and realized (due to his bloody murder screaming) that his hand was NOT numb. So they gave him a few more shots right in his palm *ouch* (more bloody murder screaming) finally it went numb and they finished up the stitches. I count 7 by looking at the picture. Dad can't remember how many, because it was a fairly traumatic experience. Thank the good lord in heaven for insurance. At the rate this kid is going we would be in big trouble without it!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

All Hallows Eve '09

Mitch dressed up as himself this year... he was the official candy hander~outer guy.

I was a.... fairy?? I actually got home from work late and hadn't thought a bit about dressing up. Brittany was very disapointed in me, so she threw together my costume. I think she did a great job.

Brittany was a "punk rocker blues clues" Kids are very creative these days.

And Drayden was a mummy of course... what a silly kid, look at the eyes. What a crack up.

My little witch. I think she is just the cutest.

We had a fun Halloween, mostly went and visited alot of family that we never get to see. Mean old mommy took all the kids candy away and I am dispensing it as I see fit. =)