Monday, December 22, 2014

Corn Maze Day!

October 27th was Corn Maze Day for our family! Poppie and Nonnie were up here and they came along too! The girls wore fall dresses and we shot our traditional fall kid picture:

and one with Poppie and Nonnie too!

The theme this year was Jurassic Jungle and all about dinosaurs. Not my favorite but it was still good fun. Nonnie let the kids all pick out candy sticks which they sucked on during the whole maze. We found dinosaurs, volcanos and fossil digs along with our check off spots. Once we found all of our destinations we retrieved our candy prizes and ate them!

Eben's Wii Birthday!

This year Eben decided to have a Wii party to celebrate his 11th birthday. We were going to have the party in our church's Friendship room, but it had gotten painted right before we were going to set up, so we ended up using the youth room and it was probably an even better space for this event.

Eben chose his favorite colors purple and red and his favorite snack foods. 

Peter set up four different Wii stations all around the room and Eben switched the games throughout the party.  The older boys' favorites were Mario Kart 8 and Wii Party.

Everyone else loved Just Dance which ended up being on two stations and people who didn't even have a Wii remote even joined in.

Eben decided he wanted brownies a la mode instead of cake this year.

The whole Wii group.

After we awarded the three Wii champions, the people who had crazy hats on signifying they had won the last Wii game, he opened his presents!

Eben, we can't believe you are 11 already! You are a wonderful, red-headed, weird, computer genius. You are a great example for your little siblings. You are amazing at stepping away from whatever you're doing and obeying with joy. Technology makes you giddy and you love anything computer related. You are on two different serve teams and help out around church.  You are becoming a very servant-hearted man, getting firewood, starting the car and taking care of chickens. You are very motivated when you want to be ofter waking up around 5am to finish school work and always getting done before Fridays so you can go to Computer Clubhouse. We love you and your wacky ways! We know you will use your talents and funny humor to bring others to Christ! Happy 11th Eben! 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

October Stuff

The kids love, love, love building with blocks. Especially these stick blocks. We made a special trip to Ikea just to buy some for Jasper's birthday only to find out they don't carry them anymore. So we finally special ordered our blocks so that all the kids had enough blocks to build with at the same time. They have come up with some great creations too! Here is Kivi's house and the train that leads right to Safeco field!

On Oct. 17 and 18th Peter took me away for my 39th birthday to a B&B in Olympia. We spent our time hunting - for bargains at all the Goodwills and kefir! We found both! The car was completely filled with treasure by the time we were done. Peter actually only searches for three things at thrift stores; Heelys, Charles Wysocki puzzles and ski gear. He did really well and found all of them multiple times.

Oct. 21 - One of our midwife appointments. We are so glad we found Dawn and Sarah! The appointments are in Dawn's cute remodeled basement turned doctor's office and the kids are welcome to come and learn and do. We took Opal, Jasper and Kivi to this one and they got to find Baby Bear's heartbeat.

Berg is learning so much! I often forget this man is four already and capable of learning so many new things. We are working on knowing numbers, writing his letters and making a letter book.

Jasper's Great Wolf Birthday!

Johnson tradition dictates that a seven year old can go to an amusement park and an eight year old can choose between a normal birthday party or going to the Great Wolf Lodge. Last year Jasper chose Legoland and this year on Sept. 28th we spent a whole day at Great Wolf Lodge with our friends the Schocks!

We got Jasper his own compass to play the Compass Quest this time with the boys instead of the normal MagiQuest, which the other kids played. We actually were pretty excited to find wands at Goodwill! The people who worked at GWL were not as pleased that we had wands that haven't been used since the year they opened and didn't have our names on them. 

The kids switched off going into the water park so that Dada and Mrs. Schock each had a little group of kids to go on the slides with, while I sat in the lobby all day long with the little people. The littles tried the water park once for a short time and that was about it for them. I don't even think Berg got in the water. We spent our time playing MagiQuest, coloring, eating snacks, watching movies, and watching the lamest show on earth. ("There's nothing to be scared of here, just trust in mother nature." What kind of message is that? The song gets stuck in your head for hours.) Peter actually stayed in that hot, stuffy water park with different groups of our gang for about 8 hours!

After a pizza dinner, we got the three different flavored cakes that Jasper picked out from the store (he specifically asked for store bought cake - ha!) and sang "Happy Birthday" to the waterlogged 8 year old!

He opened his present - a nerf gun!

And he received the traditional "Birthday Kiss" from Mama and Dada!

Jasper, you are such a "cool" guy! We love spending time with you and watching your enthusiasm for life. You are super friendly. You love to build with blocks, making houses with your sisters, marble runs with your brothers or robots out of mega blocks and all sorts of Lego creations. You have the loudest laugh when we watch movies, you're the loudest anytime actually. You are still working on being gentle, and are not as rough as you used to be, but still jab us with an occasional elbow or knee unintentionally. You have written many great stories and have amazing math and dance skills. You are reading the Magic Tree House series right now and really like it although you still can't read in bed, not because your not allowed, but because you fall asleep within seconds of your head hitting the pillow. (Which by the way, still has to be perfect, like the rest of your bed before you get into it.) We love you and your quirky ways! We know God will use all of your talents and great personality for His glory! Happy 8th Birthday, Bubble Baby!

Boy Day/Girl Day

On Sept. 28th Dada took the boys to their first baseball game! We (the girls) dropped them off at the train station where they rode the Sounder to Seattle and had a great manly day eating tons of snacks that Dada bought especially for them, including a whole box of Whoppers each and a whole bags of peanuts. (It was after this that we realized Jasper's face doesn't like peanuts and he hasn't had a nut since.) The boys enjoyed the game, their yellow towels they got to wave around and a fun day with Dada.

Meanwhile, the girls had their own fun time with the Schock girls. We spent the afternoon having a tea party and painting plaster figurines and the Mamas puzzled! Good day indeed!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fall Muffins!

We love fall! To celebrate every year we make fall flavored muffins and give them away. We started out giving them to friends. We'd drive all around and deliver them to friends all over the place. However, in order to show love to those we don't know very well we began delivering our muffins to our neighbors. Our houses are pretty spread out around the lake so we don't often see our neighbors in the colder months. Some weren't home, but others loved getting the muffins and the "Happy fall, we made you some muffins!" greeting from the kids. One of our elderly neighbors had tears in her eyes and told us that no one else ever comes to see her and she was so glad we took time to come and say, "Hello".


On September 8th we decided to head to another county. The kids had been wanting to learn about Italy and our books from the library had come in so we built a time machine/plane and flew back in time to Rome, because if you're going to Italy, you might as well start way back. (We're actually still there. There's a lot of material to cover.)

The first thing we did was dress in togas and get our passports stamped.

We learned that most Roman meals consisted of cheese, bread, eggs, fruit and wine (grape juice), so for many of our lunches we ate just that. We also turned it into a cheese contest and everyone voted for their favorite cheeses. (Grocery Outlet has some great prices on cheese!) The favorites ended up being extra sharp cheddar and plain goat cheese. Brie was not a favorite, the older kids called it smelly cat cheese.
After learning a lot about Rome we had a DaVinci week, a Galileo week and done a lot of artwork, reading and science projects. Soon we should get to modern day Italy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tangled Week

We have been doing school all throughout the summer. Taking a break last year, because of various vacations and trips and then trying to get back into a schedule and back on task come Sept was a big, huge pain. So I decided then that we would keep trucking on through the summer with school if nothing else just to keep our regular routine and rhythm so it wasn't so overwhelming come Fall. We've taken little breaks here and there and mainly have done a modified easy learning version of school with lots of task badge chores and reading and math everyday. So instead of starting school full on in September, we had Tangled Week and I challenged Eben and Kivi to come up with a schedule that would work for the fun song that Rapunzel sings, "When Will My Life Begin" Eben even made his into a video as I taped them doing everything from paper mache to brushing their hair.
 The funny thing is we realized that she only gives herself 15 minutes in the morning to do all the cleaning, the rest of the day is filled with crazy, fun activities and lots of reading. Also she doesn't allot time for breakfast, getting dressed or going to the bathroom.
All of the kids enjoyed painting murals on the walls of the shed. This is the floating lanterns.

Kivi sketching a lamb.

Berg has been working really hard on his letters and loves his time with Mama learning their sounds, how to write them and the letter puzzles.

At the end of the week Dada set up an outdoor Tangled movie viewing. He rigged up the projector, tiki torches, and a big screen. The kids got blankets, pillows and chairs and I got the ice cream sandwiches! It worked so well, we did it again a couple nights later with friends, a screen 4 times larger (I sewed four sheets together.) and a different movie!

Opal's Lost Tooth

Opal lost her first tooth on Sept 5th! But would you believe it - tons of other kids must have lost their teeth that night too because in the morning that tooth was still under her pillow and no money was left! Crazy busy night for the Toothy Fairy - huh?! Don't worry she came the next night and left a whole dollar under her pillow. Then the sweet girl wrapped up her tooth money to give to Jasper for his birthday!

Back to Seaside!

August 29-September 1st we went back to Seaside, OR. This time we brought Grandma and Grandpa with us! While we were there Dada taught Opal to ride her two wheeler without training wheels and she did amazing! She even rode the whole way down the promenade to get ice cream! She even rode back all by herself, literally, and got lost (she was way in front of Dada who was walking along side her and way behind Grandpa who was riding a bike in front of her), but we found her!
While Dada was teaching Opal the other kids rode around on their bikes to in the street in front of the house. Jasper worked on his skills and Eben and Kivi invented new ways to incorporate Heelys and gave each other rides. Berg and Pella were fascinated with a little fountain that's in front of the house and played with it for a long while.

We finally met the Candy Man! He gave us taffy and then we went to buy his ice cream.

I think the daily ice cream treat is the favorite part of Seaside for almost everyone. Kivi and Dada missed out on some of the fun ice cream and a pizza trip because they got a little sick and stayed back at the house to rest. But they recovered quickly and were back out with us again.

We were even able to use the swimming pool at Thousand Trails one day and get lots of good floating in! Berg, Pella and Opal really loved the kiddy pool.

The kids went to the beach too and swam and played in the sand and then Dada would rinse them off outside with a warm hose. They loved it. We had a great trip and can't wait to go back to Seaside again!

Little Summer Things

Here are some random things that happened at the end of July and August that I will probably forget if I don't write them down somewhere.

July 29th: We had a chicken escape and looked and looked everywhere for her. We had actually given up for a while when Pella the great chicken wrangler found her inside the house, caught her and carried her around for everyone to see before putting her back in the coup.

Poppie and Nonnie had brought us back some delicacies from Cambodia - Freeze Dried Tarantulas! So we decided to get them out and try them. All the kids tasted them but Opal and Pella ended up eating most of them. They loved the "beef jerky flavor". It was pretty gross watching them pull the legs off and eat them up!

August 27th: As we are in the middle of morning devotions, one of the kids spots the little pontoon boat floating out into the lake. Jasper and Kivi run and get their bathing suits on and dive in to save it. The little boat almost floated 3/4 of the way across the lake before they were able to swim out and reach it, but they made it and rowed it all the way back as we stood on the deck and cheered them on. What a morning workout!

Also Aug. 27th, I finally take a picture of Baby Bear and the cupcake cravings. I have eaten a cupcake almost everyday of this pregnancy. (Which might be why I am bigger and heavier than I've ever been before during a pregnancy!) I blame Peter. He went to the farmer's market every week to buy me my weekly supply of amazing, to die for cupcakes.