Finishing Up 2011

Josh and Abbie met Misty May Traenor, Olympic Beach Volleyball Gold Medalist, which was amazing & inspiring for Abbie!

Josh getting a mini VB signed for Abbie’s coach.

Aana & Upa took James to a class on making bat houses… He LOVED it. He and Upa spent the next couple weeks building several bat houses. James knows where the best places to hang the houses on our property is to encourage bat-living. We have hung one bat house and will get the rest of them hung on our trees as soon as the weather allows.

Abbie’s team ended their 9th grade VB season as league champs! Abbie was awarded Team Captain & Most Inspirational. Of course, we are so proud of her! She is currently beginning her club season and is headed to her 1st tournament of the season this coming weekend!!

We celebrated Josh’s 40th Birthday with a weekend trip to Vegas!

Dressed up and headed out for a night on the town!

We got in trouble for sneaking McDonald’s french fries into these seats ~ Opps!

Sitting down to rest and relax after walking the strip.

Halloween 2011

This year we skipped the BIG pumpkin patch we have visited for years and stopped by a small farm we pass on our way home. It was simple.

James was excited to have his choice in color of pumpkins this year.

We all chose pumpkins and were wheeling them out to the car…

…when James was randomly stung by a bee ~ ouch!

So, we quickly loaded up our harvest and headed home.

Carving the pumpkins is a family affair, whether I like it or not! Josh is usually good about craving the insides out of my pumpkin for me. James was very cautious with the seeds as he wanted to roast them ALL.

Max is never far from the action!

Abbie is looking online for a spooky-face design.

Max is forever curious.

Ready to light up the night!

- Abbie hosted a Halloween Party -

Miss Madi the Candy-Corn Witch enjoying some Jack-o-Lantern Pizza

Hanging out…

Lauren holding Peppermint (our corn snake)

Posing after a fun game of marshmallow toss ~

Girls hanging in the hot tub, in the rain, later that night.

Stacie all dressed up to take James trick-or-treating!

Abbie = Witch / James = Shark / Stacie = Witch


James is loving 1st grade and we are grateful to his teacher for all she does to support James!He loves school & learning! Here he is working on his autobiography.

Max is never far away from James… So sweet!

James loving Peppermint.

He really is a cool snake. Even I enjoy holding him… and I thought I was scared of snakes. Gotta love when your children help you overcome your fears.

Catching up with August!

Summer = Camp for the kids in August!

Each summer Abbie looks forward to the week in August when she heads to Eastern Oregon with her friends to Young Life Camp! It is a week of crazy-fun! The first time she left home for a week long camp, I remember losing sleep. This time we dropped her off, snapped a couple pictures and then headed out for breakfast!

James headed off camping for a few days too! Aana & Upa took him to Bend, Oregon to see the Museum of Natural History… which was right up James’ alley!

While the kids were away, Josh and I spent hours and hours working on the deck… the good part was that at the end of the day, we’d head out for dinner & drinks instead of cooking at home. It was fun!

I just love this boy! Isn’t he just sweet?! He enjoyed hanging with us while we worked outside.

When James returned home from his camping trip, he and I babysat little Miss Maya. James really enjoyed being a big helper!

James and I also spent a hot summer day at a local park with friends!

A Belated Birthday Party!

With the sun shining and the pool inviting, we decided what better way to celebrate Derek’s belated birthday than to have a pool party!

We played all afternoon…

…after a fun day in the sun, we enjoyed a BBQ feast of carne asada with all the sides! YUM!!! and some tasty desserts.

I always love a reason to celebrate!

Summer Days

This post is a little random, a little like summer at our house!

James spends his mornings hunting snakes. He’s become a master at finding and catching them. He loves these slithery creatures and has decided to keep this one, Cobra, as a pet.

We researched and created a happy home for Cobra, who obviously did not think his home was fabulous because he escaped… for 3 days. Ruby found him in our closet wrapped around one of Josh’s shoes. The tank lid is now more secure.

My mom and sis had planned a pink princess birthday party for me that did not happen on my birthday for one reason or another. So the other night my mom brought the party to me.

and I did feel like a princess!

James shared sugar peas from his garden

My friend, Cary, invited me to go blueberry picking the other day. James thought it sounded fun, so he came along too.

We hit the last day of the ‘early berries’ so the berries were far and few… We got enough to snack on and make muffins, so we were happy! Plus, it was fun to visit with Cary as we walked up and down the rows looking for plump fruit.

The kids went to the eye doctor recently. Turns out Abbie needs glasses for distance and James can’t cross his eyes, so he has special eye exercises to do that will strengthen the muscles ~ who knew? Abbie picked out a super cute pair of Roxy eyeglasses and of course, she rocks them!( The ‘glasses’ they are wearing keep light out cause their eyes were sensitive from the doctor dilating them.)

James has wanted praying mantis eggs for years (really!). Stephanie found a greenhouse selling them, so James and I took a trip and bought 2 eggs, which will produce around 400 mantis babies. We will release all but a couple as they eat lots and are very territorial. We are learning lots about these bugs from a trip we took to the library where we checked out Mantis books.

It will take 2-6 weeks for these little bugs to hatch…

Josh heads back to work on Monday, we are sad… He will be in a new building this year with all new people. Change is always good. We’re just not ready to say good-bye to our random summer days.



Rockaway Beach

We were very happy with the camping site we found, it was right on the beach! Don’t we look hilarious snugged in between two cabins?

Since it was sunny and warm with the ocean right out our door, we spent lots of time hanging out in the water & the sand.

Josh & Abbie

This boy lives and breathes Science… so he loved all the treasures he found on the beach!

Abbie’s quick attempt at building a sand castle… though the water kept calling her name!

Max had so much fun jumping over the waves

…and digging in the sand!

The Harris Family joined us for this day of play at the beach!

Maya was not a fan of the sand, so she liked to be held by Mama…

or sitting pretty on a beach towel.

Amara, Princess of the Beach ~ I am loving her pose!

The kids enjoyed the roaming, digging, splashing, and lounging that the beach brings

I think we all did.

That night we BBQ’ed and roasted marshmallows by the fire. It was an early night. There is something about the salty air at the beach that just makes you feel zapped!

The next morning we packed and headed home to play in the pool… Max was ready to go!

and Ruby just liked to be everywhere and anywhere she could!

Another successful Johnson Family Get-Away!

Tillamook Cheese Factory

I canĀ  remember touring the Tillamook Cheese Factory as a little girl. After the tour we’d get cheese curds (aka: squeaky cheese) to take home and we’d get a BIG scoop of ice cream to eat on the way! I have always wanted to go back, but getting there is a bit out of the way and we never are near that part of the Oregon Coast… until our last camping trip!

We all had fun touring the factory even though I had some skeptics in my group!

We had grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, cruised the gift shop, and of course got BIG scoops to go!

Years ago, Abbie created a tradition of collecting the pennies that get flattened & stamped with where you are:

A perfect trip down memory lane for me and new memories created with my own little family… I loved it!

We made our way to our camp spot, Rockaway Beach, a new beach town for us and enjoyed a beautiful evening together.

Abbie Celebrates 14


On May 30th, Abbie turned 14 years old ~ Hard to believe she starts High School this Fall!

Since we were just getting home from a camping trip, we gave Abbie the gift of eating dinner out ~

Chandler & the family joined us for an Italian feast at Spaghetti Factory!

Maya loving the freedom of Ammie’s camera

Auntie & Unkle made Abbie’s day forever~memorable with 2 tickets to Taylor Swift!

The next weekend Abbie had a BIG Slumber Party with 10 of her friends!

Abbie posing with a fun, little crown that just didn’t want to stay connected!

Being 14 has been lots of FuN so far!!

Maya turns 2

On May 15, Little Miss Maya turned 2 years old!

We celebrated her day with a family birthday party!

Amara was very proud of her sister’s special day!

Here is Maya as we all sing the Happy Birthday song to her:

(so bored & really wants to get to those candles & that cake!)

Finally… Make a wish… and blow

Happy Birthday, Little Scrunch!