Thursday, September 17, 2009

Matchbox Necklace

I made this really sweet fairy house necklace today for our friend Octavia's 7th birthday this weekend. It has a fairy inside with a little pillow and blanket. The nice thing is she can wear it around her neck and (hopefully) not lose it. I don't know if you can get the scale very well, but it's made out of a matchbox, so it's quite small. I found this at Coloured Buttons (via the Crafty Crow). I'm hoping to make more for my nieces for Christmas. I'm trying to get as many Christmas projects/gifts as I can done now so that I'm not super overwhelmed when baby arrives.

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Monday, September 14, 2009


Since finding out that I'm having another boy, the question I get asked more times than I can count is "Are you disappointed that you're not having a girl?" Seems like a simple enough question and certainly not one that is asked with any ill-intent, but it has been a difficult one for me to answer. I've thought a lot about how to answer this question and I've come to realize that I don't really have an official response. How do you categorize disappointment? How is it measured? Sure, I could come up with a list of things that my life will lack without a daughter, but is that a valuable use of my time? Should I be focusing on the things that I won't get to do, at the expense of focusing my attention on caring for this new life? As I was laying awake in bed one night thinking about all of this, I realized something. My being disappointed does two things: It puts the focus on me and my desires and it states that I don't believe God knows what is best for my family. It's a selfish emotion that has nothing to do with my little boy and everything to do with myself. So I decided that night to think about this baby and his life, what it will be like for him to join our family. I thought about how he's going to have two older brothers that he gets to grow up with. I thought about how he has a great dad who will wrestle with him and chase him around the house and teach him about superheros and video games. I thought about how he'll have me to try to counter-balance all that "daddy stuff" by asking him to bake with me or do a craft project or go see a play. I thought about his grandparents and how much they will dote on him and snuggle him and make him feel more loved than he could ever realize. And my self-focused, poor-me attitude melted away. My heart felt like it was going to explode with love for this boy and I wondered how on earth I could ever let myself feel anything other than deep joy at the anticipation of his arrival. Then all at once, those feelings vanished and my heart broke into a million pieces. And I was disappointed all over again, grieved actually, but not in my former self-focused way. An image came to my mind and I realized that my child, boy or girl, would never have the deep and incredible honor of being held by the loving arms of my grandmother. So, I guess I would say that my disappointment, my sadness comes from the fact that this little boy is coming into a world where he will never have this:
but I will do my best to raise him in a way that is honoring to her memory and I will cherish him as the gift he is from my gracious and loving Heavenly Father.

A Trip to the Peninsula

This past weekend we headed over to Port Angeles with our friends Brian & Amber. We stayed with Mark's parents, who graciously watched the boys all day Saturday (despite the fact that Max was throwing up Friday evening) while we explored the Olympic National Park.
Our first stop was Lake Crescent, where we took a small hike up to Marymere Falls.

Next was lunch at the lake. We had packed a picnic and pulled up some chairs right at the lake for a nice, quiet meal.
We had a vistor join us for lunch:

After lunch we all piled into a rowboat and explored the lake. Brian did a great job rowing, despite the difficulty of navigating the boat with mismatched oars.

I love this photo:

After Lake Crescent we decided to head up to Hurricane Ridge. It was cool to stop at one of the pull-outs and find Mark's parent's house.

After a nice walk and some deer sightings, we headed back down to Port Angeles for dinner. We ate a delicious meal at Bella Italia, which is now famous for being the restaurant where Edward and Bella had their first date in the book 'Twilight'. What we didn't know was that it was 'Twilight Fest' this weekend in PA (apparently it was Bella's birthday) and so the restaurant was packed with fans. I think we were the only ones there who weren't wearing Twilight shirts. Tables and tables of teenage girls and, suprisingly, many older women (and even a few men) giggling with delight at the thought of dining where the ficitional love birds once sat. Our waitress told us we would not believe the things she's seen in the year that she's worked there. So funny. And no, we didn't take any photos out front.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I really want this book

I've been loving this blog lately. It's called Testosterhome and it's the daily musings of a mom raising 5 boys. Five boys!! It's such an encouraging blog to read because she isn't afraid to post the hard stuff, the crazy stuff, the silly stuff and also touches on the sweet stuff that only moms of boys can really understand. I just read today that she's coming out with a book called 'How Do You Tuck in a Superhero?' in April and I can't wait to read it! You can check it out on Amazon here. Looks so good.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Stitch in Time

While Mark was gone I filled my evenings by trying my hand at embroidery. Although I've practiced various stitches every now & again, I've never actually attempted to make something. It turned out pretty well, although there was a slight mishap with the squirrel (look closely and maybe you can tell??) I had planned to put this in the new baby's nursery, but it looks really cute on the nature table, so I'm not sure where it'll end up. I found this darling pattern at here.

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Playing at the Park

On Monday the boys and I took a nice walk down to our little park by the library. They had lots of fun climbing on the "mountains" as they call them. They also spent a good bit of time looking for treasures to take home and add to our nature table. Acorns proved to be the most exciting and sought-after find of the afternoon. Gotta love these final lingering summer days.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009


One of the most popular Fort Stevens activities is bike riding. We were fortunate to be able to borrow Mark's parents' bikes so that we could go on rides with the kids. Max decided he wanted to try out his bike without training wheels. He gave it a really good shot, although he decided he wanted them back on so that he could go on loop rides and keep up with the other kids.

All the kids were really good about wearing their helmets. Sofie had hers on even when she wasn't riding, just in case some kids hopped on their bikes. She could join them in an instant with her always-ready style.

Here's Gus in his special "back seat" as he called it. He absolutely loved riding in this. Our neighbors loaned it to us and we are so glad they did. Gus never felt left out and Daddy got an extra workout with every ride!

Cool biker:

Melia shows off her biker-style too:

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Max Turns 5

While we were camping, Max celebrated his 5th birthday. We actually had a small family celebration prior to leaving, so his birthday stretched out over a week, which he obviously loved. The first birthday activity was always a Johnson Family tradition so I was thrilled to pass it on to my own family. We hid Max's main present and then he had to hunt for it while we sang 'Happy Birthday'. The closer he got, the louder we sang. You can bet he was excited to find a big Millennium Falcon waiting for him!

After the hunt we headed to Ruby's Diner for breakfast with the family and more present opening. Max got a scooter to take to the beach:
He also got his very own "real" football, as he likes to call it:

The big hit was this Iron Man costume, which he pretty much wore for a week solid:

His cousin Blake came over after breakfast for some video game playing (which was actually part of Blake's birthday present from us back in July):

On his actual birthday we headed out to Camp 18 (a favorite destination when we're on the Oregon Coast) for breakfast -- can you see a theme here? Max is definitely an early-morning kid. Max enjoyed a yummy hot chocolate:

We all enjoyed this yummy, giant cinnamon roll!

Melia, Gus and Max played outside on all the fun stuff for quite awhile. Notice that when the Iron Man costume came off, Max had Wall-E pajamas on, another birthday gift from Ama & Papa:

Max wanted a Batman birthday, so everyone ate dinner on Batman plates. We ordered a Batman cake (which was just a sheet cake with a city scene on it since they were out of Batman toys. We added our own Batmobile to complete the look):

Max tends to get really introverted and shy when he's the center of attention, but this year when everyone was singing 'Happy Birthday' he simply couldn't contain his joy. He laughed out loud the entire time, much to the delight of Mark and I.

It's hard to believe our guy is 5 years old. The last 5 years have been the most challenging, rewarding, amazing years of our lives and we thank God everyday for such an incredible little boy.

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