Thursday, February 21, 2013

India Week 3

Jan. 27 - Feb. 2   While we were in our 3rd week of India, Jasper completed his Kindergarten level on the iPad! He has to earn five coins everyday on his learning program and now he gets to do first grade stuff!

We learned all about tigers. Although most of the kids were more intrigued that there are actually ligers and tigons - very fascinating, huge animals. We made some cool tiger art on velum paper and some see-through self portraits. This is Jasper's tiger, not his self portrait.

On Thursday, we went to one of our favorite restaurants, The Great Cuisine of India.  I had tried to make some Indian food from a cookbook and bought all the necessary ingredients for my Indian Spice Box. We had tried Makhani Murgh, Aloo Matar and Murgh Tikka at home, but we knew the Great Cuisine was going to be way better than our own homemade dishes.
We also wanted to see how they used their tandoori oven. The owners' son taught us how to make naan - good naan. We all got to go back into the kitchen, roll out the dough and then Mama and Dada attempted to throw the dough into the tandoori oven. It's really difficult and really hot! Peter succeeded. Mama failed. (One of my three attempts didn't stick to the side of the clay oven and fell down into the ashes.)

I'm pretty sure, they redid our naan before serving it to us. I don't think it looked this good after we were through with it.

Either way, it sure tasted delicious! We are loving India - especially the food part!

1 Corinthians 13 by Kivi

Kivi finished her Sky Stormer and Review book this year in record speed so she's been working on much larger portions of scripture to memorize for Awana. This is her 6th special Truth Script pin she has earned in Awana, since then, she has actually earned 2 more and is now working on her 9th! Way to go memorizing so much of God's Word, Kivi. Now the hard part - live it!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mother & Daughter Sewing Brunch

Saturday, Jan. 26th we hosted a little Sewing Brunch for some of our friends. I love to sew, and Kivi is loving learning. One of her devotions challenged her to invite some friends over so we did. We had a lovely little brunch and taught our friends how to sew chickens! 

We had three sewing machines and each girl cut out the simple rectangle shape to make the chicken body and the triangle to make the beak. I had made the combs before hand. Then they sewed them up, stuffed them and added rice to the bottom before hand stitching the bottom. 

Everyone's chickens turned out so cute! It was a great simple afternoon project and the girls did a wonderful job. I see more sewing parties in our future! Maybe a sheep, or owl or apron?

All the mamas and their girl babies!

Poppie and Nonnie Week (India week 2)

Poppie and Nonnie came on Sunday, Jan. 20th so we celebrated by going out to our traditional Poppie and Nonnie all you can eat Chinese food. It used to be Super Buffet in Dupont but since they built a AAA Buffet in Lakewood, we go there now. My favorites are the fried zucchini and egg rolls. Dada and Poppie love the all you can eat sushi. Kivi always gets super adventurous and tries some sort of new seafood. She's tried crab, shrimp, squid and octopus but mussels and clams are still her favorites. 

We all tried frog legs this time. But I think only Poppie and Kivi liked it.

The next morning we had...Basket of Presents! This time was wonderful because everything was edible. That meant fun was had and then it was gone!

 Nonnie taught us all how to play chess, since it originated in India and it soon became a favorite. We also learned about Mother Teresa, Ancient India and did some yoga.

We drew chess pieces and Eben even wrote one of his blogs on how to play the game. He was so creative taking pictures with straw to show the direction each piece could move.

Poppie and Nonnie were so helpful and spent so much of their time over at our condo helping Peter.

Nonnie was the painting queen.

Poppie fixed the recessed lighting all over the condo.

Back at home, the weather allowed for some outdoor time so Kivi tried to teach Opal how to ride a bike.

Monday, February 18, 2013

India - Week 1

On Jan. 14th we made our couch cushion, chair and pillow airplane and "flew to India"! We took our passports with us and potato stamped them.

The first thing we did was read a book about culture and lifestyle in India where we learned that some villages dress young boys up as girls to trick spirits and protect the boys. Of course we girls couldn't pass up an opportunity to do this! The boys were very good sports. It helped that they didn't have to do any jobs for the whole first week because girls do all the work for them while they study and read and eat the food we make.

The girls were very busy since on their own they decided to let the boys live like Indian boys and do their jobs for them. Kivi did her jobs and Eben's and Opal did her's and Jasper's - all of the laundry, sorting and putting it away! We learned that most people wash their clothes in the river and hang them to dry, and since our dryer wasn't drying well anyway, Kivi helped Opal hang dry the laundry. It was hung up all over the house.

We ate Naan and Khichada (which I meant to make for breakfast but it took too long) for lunch on the floor with our hands!

I made my own Chai Tea! It was quite a process and took tons of ingredients and realized it was just as cost effective and way easier to just buy Oregon Chai from Costco!

Eben and Kivi made Naan (although it didn't turn out very good).

Jasper and Mama made Paneer, an Indian cheese.

One day we had Tea at 5:30 instead of dinner, but we had enough food that it really was dinner for the little ones and Dada.

Eben and Kivi and Mama had "dinner" that night at 10:00 pm which is the time most Indian families eat - even the kids! We almost fell asleep during our little meal.

Our new schedule allows time for Berg, Jasper and Opal to spend time doing educational games on the ipad. Berg loves playing "Berg's puzzle game" as he calls it. Pella likes to encourage him, until she starts pushing buttons, then he's done having her "help". It has nothing to do with India, but they were so cute!

The last day of our first week we did Mehndi, henna drawing on our hands and feet, usually done for wedding ceremonies. These are Kivi's feet. Mama had a lot of fun drawing designs on all the bigs and middles! And since it was Saturday, they got to watch a movie while they waited for them to all dry.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Let the New Year begin!

The day after we got back from Leavenworth, we let the kids eat their beloved gingerbread Bethlehem. It was the longest activity ever. They didn't just eat it, they demolished them with butter knives and then reconstructed one huge house. Actually, they said it was a church, with stables for animals and they included the elements of Passover for some reason. 

Creative, dangerous boy with cute puckery lips yielding a demolition weapon.

January 4th - Our sweet hearted Jasper finally got to use the 40 Special Helper 
Rockets he had been earning for a loonnnngggg time to take the family to Charlie's Safari! This has never been done before in Special Helper Rocket history. Usually a child earns 20 and can go somewhere alone with just Mama or Dada all to themselves. Jasper wanted to be able to take all his brothers and sisters somewhere special, so we told him if he could earn 40 he could take the whole family. He's been working so hard to help out around the house without complaining and earn more rockets so he could pay everyone's way. His brothers and sisters were so thankful that he included them in his reward!

Sharing with other makes his day. I think he was so happy to get to spend this day with them and enjoyed it so much more knowing he was giving this gift to them.

Our new 2013 plan is to get doughnuts on Sundays as a special treat for the kids and me (I love sugar!) so we can look forward to the Lord's day, have fun as a family, and let others eat the cookies that are offered at our church. It's not a healthy goal, but it's a fun one. We finally got to try out this plan on the 6th. I love this picture of Peter in Opal's bow at Krispy Kreme and Opal with her finger in her nose in the background!

 Since I'm on funny pictures of Dada, I like this one too of Peter figuring out how to take video on the iPad. Plus it shows how much we all love this years Christmas jammies. They are the most worn jammies to date! We'll have to do the converting blankets to jammies plan again next year!

On January 13th, we were able to attend Grandma Lee's 95th birthday party in Federal Way and meet up with lots of people from Peter's side of the family. The kids even met a lot of cousins they didn't know they had.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Johnson Leavenworth Trip, 2012

A couple days after Christmas, we headed over to Leavenworth in the bus. We stayed at the Apple Blossom Inn like we have for the past years thanks to Grandma and Grandpa!
There was lots of snow!
We sledded, took snow walks, built a snowman, visited the petting zoo, and Jasper even found an igloo (a picnic table covered in snow)!

Dada even took Eben and Kivi skiing at the cutest little ski slopes 5 minutes from town. They had the cutest little lodge that was built around 1900 that had a huge fireplace and some tables, and they served hot cocoa and things like ants on a log and cheese sticks. It was adorable.

The first time they went skiing the little people and I had a hot cocoa tea party and played at the house. The second time they went out at night, I joined them and watched them ski from the lodge while drinking my chai tea. Then we headed over to a bigger slope all together and encouraged them as they figured out how to get on the fast rope tow.

We had a fun time relaxing, watching movies, doing many Charles Wysocki puzzles, and playing Wii (dance party of course). Peter and I even got to go on a date to have fondue.

The Extended Johnson Family

Thank you Grandma and Grandpa!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Christmas Day 2012

The tradition that starts off Christmas: waiting at the bottom of the stairs for Dada to light the candles on Jesus' birthday cake so we can sing to Him as we walk up the stairs and blow out His candles.

Pella's still watching the cake.

Reading Luke Chapter 2, Jesus' birthday story, comes next!

Then it's time to open some stockings! They were pretty excited for that part.

Cuddle time with Grandma and Grandpa after a breakfast of Swiss eggs, waiting for everyone to be ready to open the presents under the tree.

The kids all go shopping separately with Dada at the Dollar Tree during December to buy presents for each other. They are so cute to watch as they give each other their gifts, and watch for the look of excitement when their siblings open their gift. The sweetest part is the gratefulness and hugs of appreciation.

This boy receives so much joy every time he gives.

Opal gave us this cutest homemade nativity. We worked for about 4 weeks on them at Cubbies. Having 30 kids sculpt them out of clay and painting took a while, but they turned out so cute.

Playing with all the gifts and watching what's going on at Poppie and Nonnie's house via technology.

We were so excited to get the gift of giving from Grandpa and Grandpa. Each kid was able to give a family in need 8 chickens - that's 48 chickens!! We prepared the kids for this and talked a lot about giving instead of getting; how so many families around the world live differently than we do and we can help. We watched World Vision videos of families receiving animals to help them and it stuck. They were so happy to help others and Dada and I were so happy to not have way too much "stuff" coming into our very tiny house! Grandma and Grandpa gave them each a tasty little chicky cookie too.

 We played games, played with toys and babies and ate a delicious turkey dinner with our family to celebrate the rest of the day. It was fun, relaxing and peaceful. Dada had to work on Christmas this year, so he was in and out most of the day, but we did get to have the morning with him and that was wonderful.