Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Tuff Crawls!

Our 10 month old crawls! I think he's the fastest kid so far to have this figured out. He's also the most mischievous of the bunch so far, going straight for fans, electrical outlets, stoves and stairs. Good thing he has six protective siblings to watch out for him and save his life.

Oct. 1st

Remodeling Begins!

September 30 - October 9th: The Basement Project

Poppie and Nonnie and Mimi drove up to spend some time in our new house, help us organize, paint and remodel some rooms and be able to be there for Pella and Tuff's birthday parties. The first goal was to get that dungeon of a basement painted and ready for new carpet. We were going to drywall the whole thing, but then decided the wood might look good painted. So we took down the wallpaper on the walls and it took Nonnie four coats of paint to cover up that very dark wood. The kids all helped after their homeschooling each day but Pella got to help Nonnie all day long every day and loved it! She was a painting champion and talked to Nonnie and Poppie the whole time. They also worked on the downstairs guest room, which ended up being a bigger pain than we realized as we were going to remove the paneling, but Poppie found out only half of the room was drywalled underneath.

Nonnie also decided to get rid of that hideous wallpaper in the hallway going down to the basement. The kids were excited to help. Especially Kivi who would finish her school work early so she could peel wallpaper!

Nonnie's finished work and Eben rejoicing with her.

And finally... The newly painted and carpeted basement! The kids love it! So much room to play and run and build and watch shows on the projector and even play ping pong!

October 2nd: Started on Mud Room
 Poppie and Dada started the project of making Mama super happy by removing this pointless wall that separated the mudroom in two.

Now it is so much nicer to just have to go through one door instead of two to get to the laundry and not be squished putting it in. Also the freezer fits next to the dryer now! I know it was a pain because they had to rewire things and grind down metal while wearing proper scuba safety gear. But I feel very loved and they even put recessed lighting in this room and the living room too!

On Oct. 10th Peter installed peel and stick tile that were on discount at Lowe's and I told the sales guy we'd buy them if we could get them for a mere $.18 a sq ft and he said, "Ok". Whew hoo!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Baby Thumper is Coming!

Praise God! We made it to our third month of pregnancy! 

I got extremely sick at our friends' house, the week before and thought for sure we were having a miscarriage. After a visit to the midwife confirmed that Baby Thumper was alive and well, we came home to tell the kids. We stopped at the Dollar Tree first and picked up some frames to write numbers. We told the kids we wanted to take their picture by the lake and had them sit on the grass and hold their number. Then as I was clicking away I held the number 8 by my belly. Kivi and Eben got it right away and Jasper and Opal soon caught on, but Berg and Pella had no idea what the hoopla was all about and Tuff just loved holding his number. Then they all ran up and hugged and kissed me. It was super great. I love how excited they all get about having a new sibling!

Taking their picture:

Holding up the #8 sign:

Running up to Mama after they figure out our clue:
Then we took a picture together so we could announce our new little Thumper to everyone.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The New House - First Days

Our first meal in our new house was brought to us by our amazing hosts, the Millers! So sweet!

For the next couple weeks, we did no homeschool. I tried to begin demo on the projects that I knew I wanted done, and Peter tried to stop me from ruining our house and do "one project at a time!" So I settled on painting the boys' room and girls' room and getting those ready to put their beds into. The kids had a great time hiding in our crazily placed stuff. This is the living room. (All of our stuff was put into the garage and living room on moving day since we couldn't put it all throughout the house yet.)

They also fully explored UNDER the house! They loved the crawl space and spent hours down there. Probably because we told them that the previous owners told us about a secret passage that the house has and they were determined to find it.

The kids were super helpful bringing in boxes from the garage and trying to find a spot for the stuff. Shari came, thankfully and helped us get our kitchen in order.

Until their rooms were ready, all the kids slept in our bedroom, which is ginormous and fit us all quite well, although, after a couple of weeks Dada was pretty ready for them all to have their own place.

Our house was a mess for a very long while, but we are so blessed. God allowed everything to go just as we needed it. It wasn't the way we thought it would go, but it was the way God knew it should go. It grew us and helped us rely on Him. The whole process, although long, was a blessing and we are so happy to have this house and wake up every morning to this:

Moving Month!

September was Moving Month at the Johnson household. The slowest move ever! Between trying to homeschool, fixing up the house, Peter working every day and packing it just kind of felt like we were trying to do everything and accomplishing nothing. But slowly, we got through it. Actually, homeschool became all about moving, not so much school. After moving tons of stuff into the Schock's garage and into the Erickson's trailer, we got as much as we could into boxes and waited until moving day came.

Finally after church on Sept. 13th we were able to move our stuff out of our house and onto the property of our new location. Our wonderful friends came out to help us and it was a way bigger job than I envisioned. We thought we had everything ready to go and then there was just so much more "stuff" still to pack up.

We stayed in our empty house for 7 days until we had to get out completely because the new family was moving in.  I took the kids to church during the days so we could have a table and chairs to sit at and eat and do school work. On the 19th we said goodbye to our home of 10 years on beautiful Lake Louise. 

We took the kids over to our new house on Lake Steilacoom to see completely for the first time. But we still couldn't move in until all the paperwork was complete.

The tour of our new home before we moved in:

Our friends and new neighbors to be, the Millers, were so gracious and let us all sleep at there house for a couple of nights until we could move into our new place.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

End of Summer Seaside

Dada booked us a house in Seaside, OR for the first weekend in September, so our summer would be bookended by a Seaside trip. We took the kids to Goodwill for their traditional cheap toy buying to start the trip. We rode our bikes down the prom for ice cream and the kids ate meals outside in the new hammock that was there this time. 

We also tried out going on a new outing to Indian Beach. It starts out as a beautiful hike down to the ocean. The kids loved scrambling on the rocks, playing in the sand, floating Berg's Goodwill boat in the tide pools, looking for little sea creatures and discovering all of the dead animals. I don't know what was going on there but we found 14 dead birds and a dead seal. (The really orange looking thing in the photo of Opal and Berg.)

Back at Seaside, we got some more ice cream and played at the beach.
Well, I don't know what Eben did, he was conflicted about wanting to go in the water and being too cold at the same time.

The next day we tried to go back to Indian Beach because the kids had so much fun, but the line of cars to get in was super long. We went to a cute park, had lunch and jumped on sand dunes instead.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


The kids worked really hard reading books for a homeschool reading program at the beginning of this year and were all awarded with free passes to Silverwood, a theme park in Idaho. We decided to actually go and take them this year, since they were given free tickets for the same program the year before and we never went. We borrowed our friend's trailer and slept in the Silverwood parking lot when we got there.

The next morning after moving the trailer to the theme park's campground and a breakfast in the trailer we walked to the theme park. It was actually much nicer than I was expecting. After a ride on the merry-go-round we quickly realized we had better split up if we wanted everyone to enjoy the park. So Dada took off with the older three and headed for the fast paced roller coasters and Mama went to little kid land with the four youngest. Their favorite was the train that goes around the entire park and stops for a stunt show that you watch from the train. It was about a half hour long ride!

We all met up after a couple of rides and rode the log ride together, well, in three different logs.

We even got a family picture in front of some beautiful flowers.

Then the big kids and Dada were off again, to enjoy puke spin rides and wet river rapids.

We all met up again at lunch to eat some cheese, crackers, fruit and salami and the big kids rode on the little rides with the little guys. At one point we even met up with our friends, the Holmes, who are the ones that told us about the reading program in the first place. When it got late, Dada took the little ones back to the trailer and Mama took the big three on a couple more big rides in the dark.

The next morning after sleeping in the trailer again, Berg asked, "Can we all go to the big playground again?" I thought he meant there in the campground, but he wanted to spend another day in Silverwood. They had a really great time. On the long ride home we had packed some ice cream cones in the trailer freezer so we ate those at a super windy truck stop, while playing with tumble weeds.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Race, Surf, Sink

Aug. 15th our family signed up to help out with our church's booth at the 4 US event at Fort Steilacoom Park to support buying more ultrasound machines. Little did we know we would be sucked into participating in many events and our one hour commitment lasted almost all day. Berg, Pella and Opal played in the jumpy toys while Eben, Kivi and Jasper participated in the 5K race and then they ran along side Berg and Opal in the 1K and I got a massage! Hey, you have to support the cause however you can! After that the three bigs participated in trying to break the world record for the largest squirt gun fight. They ended up raising $127,645 for the "Save a Life" campaign.

Peter has had a great summer of wake boarding and wake surfing on Jeremy's boat on Lake Steilacoom. He's gotten really good at it, too! We actually never put our boat on our little Lake Louise this year! So good thing he has like-minded, water sport enthusiasts as friends.

Tuff, our little 9 month old, taking a bath in the sink. He was the cutest little sink baby ever! And he had the greatest time I think he could have stayed in there playing with the running water all day.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Flight with Grandpa

On August 13th we finally gave Grandpa his Christmas present of flight. Peter's friend, Austin took up Grandpa and Eben and Jasper and then Grandpa split up his hour flight into two half hours so that he could go back up again with Kivi and Opal! They flew over Lake Louise, Lake Steilacoom and the Puget Sound. The kids said they didn't realize how surrounded by water we were until they were up there and saw it from the sky.
Eben and Kivi got to help with the plane check list.

 Eben and Jasper, ready to fly!

Opal and Kivi's turn. 

A view of our little Lake Louise from the air.

LC3 Family Camp

We go to an amazing church with a lot of fun people! August 7th - 9th we got to hang out with so many of them at our church's family camp at Black Lake Bible Camp. The theme this year was Extreme Makeover. 

The kids always have such a fun time because they are cut free to do whatever they want with their friends. They had a great time playing mini golf, playing on the playground and in the canyon, playing carpetball and bingo, swimming in the lake and pool. Even Pella and Berg roamed around with friends the whole time. The 4 big kids even got to lead worship and Eben and Kivi stayed up late every night and went to youth group! Tuff stole his first bite of marshmallow and graham cracker at s'more time.

Peter and I were asked to do the programming piece again this year so we decided to go as "confused about the theme us". The first time we thought the theme was Makeover Home Edition, the next time Fashion Makeover and the last time Body Makeover Workout Edition. 

We also led the large group game time and put together some fun team games the favorite to watch anyway was the Strong Man game, where all the men held on as tight as they could to each other and the women and children had to try and pry them apart. Peter's idea (John Schock's creation) of mega foam kick ball turned out amazing! Well not the kick ball part so much, but the free play in the foam was wonderful It was amazing that there were no dramatic injuries with everyone slipping and sliding into each other and kids getting knocked down everywhere.

The Saturday Night Live skits were another fun part and Eben and Kivi were both in different skits!