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!

Summer Continues!

We’ve been pet sitting this Bearded Dragon, Ike, for the summer… to see if a bearded dragon would be the right lizard for our family. We have enjoyed Ike and his eager eating habits. We always love learning about new animals… but in the case of having a bearded dragon for a pet, the pros definitely do not outweigh the cons: The poop is very stinky and big, with the tank needing to be cleaned each day. The heat/lighting is very fragile and always needing to be adjusted. The diet is lots and lots of fresh greens and some crickets and meal worms.We have enjoyed Ike, though are ready to say our goodbyes!

Abbie worked at the Clark County Fair for the 2nd year. She volunteers in the Young Life food booth doing lots of different things from shucking corn, to pouring froszen lemonade, to selling corn on the cob, and using the $ register. She loves working the fair and has a GREAT time meeting and hanging out with friends after her shift! Last Saturday a group of friends met at the fair and then all came here for swimming, hot dogs, and a fire in the fire-pit.

My grandparents gave James and Abbie some tomato starts from seeds they’d saved over from their tomato plants last year. We are very proud to have not killed them. In fact, they are doing awesome! They are strong and healthy and have many yellow flowers… If we can get a tomato or two, we’ll be thrilled!

James had a pack of sugar snap peas so we planted those too! They are producing peas faster than we can eat them!

I planted strawberries for fun AND they have given us several berries so far!

The kids and I visited my grandparents this week. It was a wonderful visit. We all had such fun together! Granddad loves to share his garden. James and I picked loads of cucumbers and zuchinni ~ we can’t wait to make zuchinni bread!

Granddad loves to share his knowledge and James takes every bit of it in… I love to see my kids spending time and having fun with people I love and respect so deeply!!

James posing in front of Granddad’s HUGE tomato plants!

As things go, the snake’s life with us was short lived. He escaped and James was okay with it as it was the second time he’d found a way out… James realized he was a wild animal and would do anything to get back outside (we were all happy about this). Now the snake habitat is a habitat for the snails and trout creek James caught in the Rickreall Creek.

While the kids and I were away, Josh got busy on the deck (a project we have been dragging our feet on for almost… forever). It is looking amazing! I am so excited and proud of him!

James was interested and asked lots of questions… Josh was very patient even as he was work, work, working! Such a great Dad! James ended up with a paint brush and helping Josh with the painting by the end of tonight.

I can’t wait to share the finished product!! I am so so excited! We are going to be sanding, painting, and staining all day tomorrow in hopes of finishing the top deck!

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 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!

Hockinson Fun Days

Hockinson Fun Days has become an annual event for our family! We love the pancake feed, parade, and community spirit this event brings!

Hockinson TKD held a demonstration at the Fire Dept.

James breaking the board Master Clint is so bravely holding!

Abbie, drum majorette, marching with the band in the parade!

Madi, Mitchell & Chandler getting ready to head down to the food & festivities!

The HS Volleyball Team ~ Abbie missed marching with them as she was with the band…

Parade over & getting ready to catch up with friends!

James in his tap dancing costume ~ he performed with his class during the Country Friends End-of-Year Show!

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!!

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…

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!