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.

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 can  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.

Trip to Seattle

A couple weekends ago, Stephanie, the kids, and I all headed North to visit Steph’s college roommate, Danica, and her family. We have all grown to be friends over the years, and it was a fun little get-away!

Stephanie, Danica, and Stacie

Our kids had fun running around the hotel lobby watching all the Koi swimming around the ponds as we visited and caught up with life over drinks!

We all headed back to our hotel room  and had room service for dinner. The kids played and we chatted into the night… it was simple & fun!

The next morning we headed into downtown Seattle for some sight-seeing & shopping.

James was super excited to see all the fresh fish and seafood!

We saw lots of funny sights… like the biggest shoe in the world!

Pikes Place Market was so crowded, amazing, and full of fresh foods & flowers.

We ate lunch at The Hard Rock Cafe then headed home… a quick weekend, full of fun!

Camp Sherman

Over Memorial Day weekend we headed east to the Metolius River for our annual camping trip with the Picard Family!

No matter where we end up, we have fun. How can we not? There are always plenty of teenagers around to listen to & watch… what a funny bunch of kids! They all had fun riding in the back of the truck when we drove into town ~ it was legal as all the seats in the front were taken over by adults & James!

James and his fishing buddy, Jeff, were excited to get down to the river…

Jeff taught James how to fly fish ~

Max always loves to go camping! I was happy he had grass to play in, it keeps him & our motorhome just a little cleaner!

We enjoyed fires and stories from the kids at night… it was really a perfect few days!

Here we are posing at the Camp Sherman General Store…

A Day at the Beach

You know, we used to live here (Pacific Beach). We could walk to this exact spot. It was beautiful everyday. Expensive too! What a perfect place…

…we enjoyed every moment we had reconnecting with the beach. It was soothing-fun-refreshing!

Except for when Abbie thought I was acting too much like a tourist – and then it wasn’t so relaxing… she was so irritated with me!

Josh and Abbie rode the Coaster (at Mission Beach)

James was a few inches too short – he was WAY bummed! I can’t imagine why?! We did my favorite – and can you believe, he would not let me choose an animal near him? He wanted me to find something far away!

James loves fishing (not sure where the love came from, since we aren’t big fisher-people) ANYWAYS… now that he can read, he saw a sign on Crystal Pier that said: Fishing $15 an hour


After an hour of fishy fun

…we walked the Boardwalk to a sweet little ice cream shack

and then back to Grandpa Jim’s for a swim in his most excellent pool!

Josh and Abbie had way too much fun doing fancy jumps & dives from the waterfall!

What an amazing pool – I love California! (It was raining back home).

That night we all went to P.F. Chang’s for dinner ~ yummy! James taught Uncle Justin how to play WAR (a game of numbers).





We woke to warm, sunny skies and decided to head to Legoland for a day of fun!






James really wanted to get his Legoland driver’s license and Abbie went along to make sure he followed the rules of the road… what a sweet sis!

We enjoyed the rides, although the lines moved way too slowly for us.

James easily talked us into a tiger face painting…

It was a day for play…

and seeing many impressive Lego creations

after a fun-filled day of play…

Josh’s Dad, Jim, took all of us out for a wonderful evening of food, drinks, and conversation.





On the Road Again…

we just can’t wait to get on the road again…

Josh is prepping the car for our 2500 mile/36hour trip to San Diego!

James packed himself in his bag and was ready to go!

Abbie spent her time filling her bag with lots of summer clothes!

The kids brought plenty of books, activities, and movies to keep them busy ! They got along and did amazingly well the entire drive… which made for a fantastic trip!

We didn’t eat lunch on Day 2 of the drive until we saw our favorite southern California fast-food… it was well worth the wait!

We arrived to Grandpa Jim’s house, where we were greeted with refreshing beverages & tasty barbeque! Josh and his Dad spent the evening catching up ~ it was lots of fun!


Cannon Beach

We had a four day weekend over President’s Day, so we packed up the motorhome in a rainstorm and headed to the beach! Somewhere on Hwy 26 I realized I had left the camera on the kitchen counter. I was so sad. This was Max’s 1st big trip and his first experience with the ocean, sand, camping… it was such a fun trip with the most amazing moments and no camera to capture the memories.

Friday was rainy and windy. We enjoyed a traditional camp-out dinner of hamburgers, relaxed a bit, then snuggled in for a movie and some popcorn!

Abbie and Chandler playing Battleship.

Max and Mishka getting to know each other. They became good friends as the weekend went on…

Saturday was another day of rain with a few sun breaks. Welcome to the Oregon Coast! Josh, Max, and I went for the best jog on the beach. We ran about 3 miles both along the beach and in the sand. We took turns holding Max’s leash as he pulled us along when we were feeling tired!

The Picard Family surprised us around lunch time! They showed up with the trailer packed, ready for some fun! We walked into Cannon Beach to play in the sand, grab a latte, and of course most importantly a visit to the local candy-shop! I always het a piece of sea foam and this time I splurged on a caramel-dipped apple. That night we enjoyed a hanging by the fire and visiting into the late hours of night.

Sunday was bright, sunny, beautiful and time to go home… we decided we could not pass up such a perfect day at the beach so we stayed one more night!

Wish I had a picture of Max digging on the beach. He would dig and dig and then jump in the hole and lay there very proud of his efforts! Camera moment for sure.