Wednesday, December 31, 2008

In A Word.....Memories

This morning when I woke up my son Jakob quickly reminded me that tomorrow is going to be a NEW YEAR!

No more 2008 mom, it's going to be 2009.

Thanks son for reminding me!!

I remember when I was pregnant with Jakob we rang in 1999, of course that whole evening all you hear was Prince's song "And tonight were going to party like it's 1999", well because it was!

Then the next year was the new Millennium! We were all preparing (well OK not all of us, but me) for the computers to die, the water to be contaminated and any other horrible thing that the media told us to be prepared for.

Thankfully nothing happened and I didn't have to buy bottled water for almost a year :)

As this new year is upon us, (tomorrow MOM tomorrow)

I thought I would share a few of my favorite memories from 2008.

Thanks Rachael for this cute idea :)

I hope it brings as many smiles to your face that it has to my heart......




As I was going back through all of these pictures, the memories just come flooding back.

We made 5 trips to Louisiana this year, 2 trips to Tennessee, Brian and I went to Miami and finished it all off with our weekend in Atlanta.
And about 5000 pictures to prove it all!!

My nephew Cody William was born in January!! What a beautiful little light he is. He has brought so much joy to my brother and sister in law and everyone else in the family as well!

Then of course the rain came......

As most of you know my grandfather passed away in March. He was my daddy's best friend and watching my daddy grieve for his loss, was and still is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. My father will never be the same and I hope that 2009 can bring him some peace in his heart.

Throughout the rest of our year we have had numerous baseball games, swim meets, football games, doctor's visits, walks with our dogs, fishing trips to the lake, WAY TO MANY TACOS and even more Chick Fil A sweet teas. (oh wait that last one was all me!!)

But more than anything we have MEMORIES, lots and lots of MEMORIES!
Good and bad, but there all ours!!!

Our family wishes you love and peace on this, the Eve of our New Year.
I hope 2009 is as wonderful as you make it!!

The Johnson's

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Our Own Bedtime Stories....

We took the kids to see Bedtime Stories on Christmas night.
We met our friends The Dinsmore's and had a great time!

That night after we got home, my kids started talking about their favorite bedtime stories. Jakob and Hannah both named off there favorites and then Alex named his.
Well he didn't really name it, he described it.
When he started talking about this one particular story, I was in shock.
I couldn't believe that he remembered it.

When Alex was born and for the first few years of his life, Brian was in school full time, working full and in the Army reserves.
So lets just say Alex and I had lots of mommy - baby time.
There were days where I wouldn't get dressed until late in the afternoon, if at all. And days upon days where I wouldn't leave my house.

We only had 1 car back then.

And we had NO money, so where was I going to go??

Oh the good old days :):)

Anyway, I used to walk Alex in his little car (you know the one where the child can scoot themselves or the parents hold the big long handle and push) all around our neighbor hood. He LOVED that car. And he loved to swing, I would swing that child for hours out on our back deck.....OK now I might need to get out the tissue box.


I would always make up stories for Alex, especially on the days when we would go on long walks. I would see things outside and away the story would go.

There was one story line that I would always started off with, it was about a little old lady (Alex always said it was about Brian's me maw) and a little brown dog that lived together and always made stew.....

And I would add to it.

Some days the lady made the stew outside in a kettle, sometimes she would make enough to share with her friends.
She was always doing something.
And I would ask Alex, do you want to put this in the stew or that in the stew.
He loved that story......

So Alex starts telling bits and pieces of this story.
HIS story.
He remembered the little old lady part and the stew part ( he actually called it soup).
I just sat there and listened and before I knew it me and my 3 children were making it OUR story.

We added a snake to the story because of course all little old ladies have a brown dog and a snake now a days!!

By the end of it, the story was pretty far fetched but it was their imaginations hard at work.
And we don't poo poo hard work in this house:)

That night when the kids were going to bed, I told Alex I was surprised that he remembered that story. It had been so long since we told it. He said he remembered when I would tell Jakob parts of the story too, when he was a baby. ( I didn't even remember that!)

I hear my kids talk about things that have happened and I can remember it either from something that one of us has said or a picture.

Most of every one's "memories" from childhood are from one of those 2 things.

My memories as a child are few and far between. My mother got divorced from my "sperm donor" when I was very young. (Like 2 or so) And then met and married my daddy when I was about 4 or so, I don't remember exactly.

I just know that my early years were not talked about much growing up. I'm sure that wasn't a very pleasant time in her life and then she had a new, wonderful person and didn't want to bring up bad things.

Maybe that's why I don't remember much, I don't know it's just a thought.

What I do know is if my kids were ever going to try and do something special for me in my "older years", you know to show me how much they appreciate all of the wonderfulness (is that even a real word?) I have brought to their lives :)

One of the best things they could do for me would be, to read me one of our bedtime stories.....

Sharing The Love

2 of our non chocolate (yes there is such a thing:) favorite desserts to make are, Ugly Cake and Berry Shortbread Dreams....

These 2 recipes are no where listed as healthy and they are a far cry from my ever day cooking, but it's the holidays.
You have to break out the FATTENING stuff!

I have said many times here that I love to cook.

Now baking that is another story.

I love to TRY things but there never pretty and I get frustrated easily when I bake.

As long as it taste good then I'm fine. I leave the pretty stuff to the bakery!

The Ugly Cake recipe was given to me by a woman that I was "friends" with when we lived in Louisiana and my children were at St. Edwards.

The only nice thing I can say about her, was that I got this recipe :)

Ugly Cake.....

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 package of yellow cake mix
1 egg
1 stick of melted butter
1 cup chopped pecans. (The pecans are never chopped enough for me, so I pour them into a napkin and use my meat tenderizer and smash them into a powder)

Mix all these ingredients together.

Pour them into a greased 9 x 13 pan.

Then mix 3 eggs
1 - 8 ounce of low fat cream cheese ( I use low fat, just because)
1 - box of powered sugar

Mix with electric mixer until well blended and pour over the other mixture that is in the pan...

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Cool very well before cutting ( I let mine cool for an hour)

Berry Shortbread Dreams (Taste Of Homes Christmas Cookies and Candies)

1 cup of butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups of all - purpose flour
1/3 to 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons water
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in extract; gradually add flour until dough forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.

Roll into 1 - inch balls. Place 1 in apart on ungreased baking sheets. Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make an indentation in the center of each ball. Fill with jam.

Bake at 350 degrees for 14 - 18 minutes or until edges are lightly brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Spoon additional jam into cookies if desired.

Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over cookies...

My kids call these cookies "A little slice of heaven!

Let me know if you make either one and how they come out for you......



My family is no where ready for "the real world" again. We have been getting projects done, eating, lounging, eating, taking nice long walks and did I mention, EATING?? (By Sunday we will be kicking and screaming for another week off! And when I say WE I mean ME :)

Our Christmas leftovers have been gone for a few days and now we've been working on cleaning out the freezer.

I have a family of 5, we eat like were a family of 10 (well at least my boys do :) and I cook like were a family of 15! So there are always leftovers in my house.

Before the holidays I start freezing things, so that way I can just defrost and not worry about anything.

Breakfast for dinner is also another easy idea and always a hit in my house.

Today we've been doing some baking for a New Year's Eve party that were going to tomorrow.

I figured since the oven was already going why not do good ole pizzas for dinner. Publix has ready made dough in the refrigerated cake section. You let it sit out for about an hour. Roll it out and add whatever toppings your family enjoys.

We make one with ham ( Boar's head deli ham), pepperonis (Applegate Farms brand), red and yellow peppers and cheese.

And one with just pepperonis and cheese.
Making pizzas is so much cheaper than ordering and my kids love to help me make them!

Tonight will be another Cranium FUN FILLED night! With pizzas and a little taste of our sweets!

Have I told you, we are SO not ready for the holidays to end :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Good The Bad And The Ugly

This afternoon we took the kids to the park in our neighborhood. WE meaning, me and my husband took the kids and the 2 dogs to the park TOGETHER.

I quite often take the kids to the park. And on the weekends Brian will walk Hannah over to the park to swing. But all 7 of us TOGETHER at the park, with NO REGARDS for the time, hasn't happened in a long time!

Today makes 7 straight days that we all have been home together.
And we have all made it ALIVE!!

And we are honestly sad that we only have one more week left.

It hasn't all been a bed of roses, but I would not rather be any where else in the world.

This morning while Brian was getting some work done, yes he is on vacation but really his work never stops.

What'cha gonna do?

Anyway, while he was working, we were sitting there talking about how nice the past week has been.
I told him, I wish I could come up with a way for us to make money together and we both stay home all day.

YEA, I know, good luck with that!!


back to the park......

So while the boys were playing basketball and Hannah was riding her scooter and jumping it over the dog's leashes that I was holding, I just kind of sat there and took it all in.

Before we moved, we LIVED at the park by our house. We would take our kids to the park all the time. We ALL rode bikes together every weekend. (of course in Louisiana it is FLAT ground, Georgia not so much)

We did these things together before life got in the way.

Now the weekends are, who has to be where and at what time.

I like that my kids are active and enjoy doing things.

And I'm grateful that Brian and I are able to let them be involved with the activity's they enjoy.

But when did it become so technical?

We do things in shifts now.
And I know that when you have more than 1 child, that is kind of the way it works.

But I love us all being together.

Most of my family and girlfriends just think I'm crazy and don't want to let my kids grow up. Maybe there is a little piece of truth to that, but honestly I just like us all being together.....

Tonight as I was cooking dinner (breakfast for dinner ROCKS!!) Brian was in the garage working on his and Jakob's project. Alex was on the sofa talking to his friend, Hannah was in and out with one of the neighbors and Jakob was helping me in the kitchen.
The doors were opening and closing, the phone was ringing, the dogs were up and down every time the door opened, Brian's popping his head in asking for Jakob's help....

And I have to tell you, it was music to my ears.

Were raising our kids to be kind, polite, well mannered, successful adults.
My kids growing older doesn't bother me.

But my house being quite one day, is going to kill me.

CRANIUM Family Edition

We have a new addiction in our house.

It's called Cranium Family Edition.

We bought it the day after Christmas at Wal- Mart for 10 bucks!!

As the kids get older, it is really hard to find things that a 13, 9 and 6 year old can play together and really EVERYONE enjoy!

The kids love to play Monopoly but Hannah really doesn't get the whole concept of the game and Jakob just wants to buy every ones property. It ends up being me and Brian playing for all the kids.

But this Cranium Family Edition has been really fun for all 5 of us. The first night we played it, we played for over 3 hours.

We played it again last night and it was another 3 hour tour!!

But we had a blast.

There are 4 different sets of questions you pick from and I have to say I only found a few that that Hannah would not know. She has been able to do everything.

If your looking for a fun game to fill the last week of vacation with, I highly recommend this one!

Do you all have any other recommendation for me?

We love family board games!!

And would love to add to our collection.....

Sunday, December 28, 2008

mother of the year, gone again!

Friday when we all went out to do our after Christmas shopping my 9 year old son made his opinion known that he did not want to shop.

I explained to him in a ever so motherly tone, that it was a tough life that he leads and he would have to get over it, DEAR!

We were shopping!

Brian and Jakob are working on a project together and all he wanted to do was go to Home Depot get their project stuff and go home.

Brian told him we would get the stuff after we finished what WE the adults had to do.

We made it to the first store, Old Navy and he started asking questions.....

What do we need to get from here?

Who really likes this store?

I was trying to keep my cool and not lose my mind at the same time.

Jakob has been in a funky mood lately, you would think that he is the one who is going through puberty. But he is not, he is just being a little poo poo head and frankly I'm sick of it!

And my actions were about to show it.

After we finished at Old Navy, we told the kids we were going to Kohl's, then lunch, then Home Depot. We told them this as we were walking next door to Kohl's and my son thought we said "The Home Store". I saw his face and I knew that his head was about to explode, I was a little ways in front of him and could not get to him.

I thought you said we were going to Home Depot after lunch, who wants to go to The Home Store!?? ANYWAY!

And in that second, I became that mother...

You know, the one that you stare at when she is dragging her child to the side of the building because you think she is going to beat him and you want to make sure she does because you heard the way he was speaking to his parents.

Yes, that was me!!

No I didn't beat him, but I did remind him that I had no problem with doing it, right here and right now!

I did tell him that I didn't know who he thought he was, but he was never given any special privileges to speak to us that way....

And if he wanted to continue speaking and standing up right he better get over his mood!! AND FAST!! Because my patience were DONE!

He stood there staring at me.....



Now do you want to tell me what is wrong with you?

Nothing is wrong, I just want to do what I want to do.

And we just want to do what we want to do. And since we don't ask you all to do this kind of stuff very often, why are you acting like this?

I don't know!!

So are we done acting like a poo poo head? (I know it's not the best terms but poo poo head was the best I could come up with!)

Yes I am.....

And after that he was like a different child.

He was trying to push the limits and see how far he could go. Normally I nip this kind of behavior in the bud right away but I was trying to see if he would work it out himself. And well he didn't...

The funny part is (I know it's all funny to you all) as I'm standing there with my child by myself (Brian and the other 2 kids had walked away, of course) I heard my name twice. As I was done and everyone was checking out the scene to see if I had left any body parts on the ground. I here....Hi Ms. Heidi. Hi there Ms. Heidi.

It was 1 of my kids from last years preschool class and one of my kids from this year.

They got to witness Ms. Heidi loosing her cool BIG TIME!!

After Kohl's when went to have lunch, Jakob asked me who the 2 kids were.

He then said mom, I'm sorry.

For what son? (Expecting him to say because of the way he was acting)

I'm sorry that I was talking to you all that way and I'm sorry that those kids are going to think your crazy now.

Well at least he was sorry!

He really is a little poo poo head :)

But he's my poo poo head!

setting a pace

My husband and my son Jakob love to run. They get up at the crack of dawn, strap on their running type shoes, grab a banana and a bottle of Dasani and off they go.

Me and my other 2 children, yea well we don't do any of that :)

I have never been into working out.
I try, LORD knows I've tried.
I will start to do really well and then I get side tracked (usually by some chips and quaso) and then just give up. I was paying and GOING to the gym pretty regularly about a year and a half ago. I was even working out with a trainer. (Lena was that your idea or mine??)

Yes, I was paying this person to TORTURE me!

And man it felt good.

But like all the other times, one day instead of going to the gym (which I'm still paying for :) my girlfriend and I decided to have lunch and then the gym was just a distant memory.....

I walk my dogs all the time but I know that I need more than that. So Friday I decided to get my tennis shoes which were buried under, I don't even know what, in the garage. And go to the park and walk.

I didn't set any time on myself , I didn't give my self a goal. I just went to walk and listen to my music.

And man did it feel good. The weather was no where near ideal but it still was nice. I did 2 miles in about 30 minutes, no pressure....REMEMBER!

Today I went back to the park with Brian and Jakob, they ran and I walked. I did 2 and a half miles.

What I have learned about myself is, when I jump into working out full speed ahead, I always crash and burn (have you all ever had one of those drinks, man they are good!!)

I'm hoping that starting out slow and not pressuring myself to lose 10 pounds in a week or to stop eating. Then maybe in the long run I can keep up a healthy pace.

I need to remember 2 important things....

1. Exercise is a good thing and not the devil in disguise!

2. Potato chips are not my friends!

2 peas in a pod!
welcome back!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Wanna know what their making??

Stay tuned!!

tricks of the trade

Brian and I have always gone out the day after Christmas to SHOP!! Yes, I did use my husbands name and shop in the same sentence....

I'm not saying that he doesn't complain the entire morning before we leave.
Usually it starts with, where are we going again?
Do we really have to go THERE and THERE?
How long do we plan on being gone?

(sigh) the joys of shopping with my man!!

We don't buy each other big items for Christmas, so we always wait until after Christmas and get each other something. This year Brian wanted to look for a coat and me well, a purse....

This year surprisingly he didn't put up that much of a fuss. Well it's not really a surprise. Through years of marriage we all learn "little things". I've learned some little tricks ;) that help get our shopping day off to a good start.

One thing that is always at the top of our shopping list is new tennis shoes for the boys. School starts in the beginning of August and by the end of December their shoes are either to small (Alex) or to nasty (Jakob) .

Jakob got new shoes about 3 weeks ago when he sat on the sofa next to me and crossed his leg and when he did, I didn't see the sole of his shoe, no sir I saw the bottom of his SOCK!! When I asked my, oh so adorable little dirt ball son when this happen? He simply smiled his little Jakob smile and said
"I dunno".

So we set out on Friday morning in search of a new coat, a purse, a pair of shoes and of course whatever else "junk" the kids can find to purchase with their gift cards!

Alex has been shopping in the men's shoe department since the 4Th grade. My son has always been ALL feet!
This time we hit a milestone, he has official caught up to Brian. He measured at a 9 and a half and we bought a 10!! A 10! Of course he then turns around and tells me, just think mom, by next year's back to school shopping I will probably be in and 11......

Can someone stop the ride, I think I'm going to be sick!

Our Christmas 2008 Fun!

It didn't stay quite for long!!
The night vision goggles were a hit!
Hannah and her new Leapster!
the boys setting their new watches!
look at my picture daddy!
just in case you thought Jakob got the love of reptiles from me, well you were wrong...
he is starting a fashion trend!
of course Santa didn't forget about Iris and Lola
his was so EXCITED about the snake!!!
the aftermath
let the fun BEGIN!!
daddy caught me and my dancing partner

We all had a wonderful day on Christmas. The kids all got what they asked for and they also got to stay in their p.j.'s until late in the evening. We had my grandmother over for dinner. After our bellies were BEYOND full, we met the Dinsmore's at the show and saw "Bedtime Stories". It was a cute movie and the kids thought it was HILARIOUS!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!!

FYI- I know the questions are going to start about the snake.
Jakob received a Red Tailed Boa from Santa.
The snake is a little over 4 feet long and yes it will get bigger.
Yes it will be staying in his room, in a cage. (He already has a snake in his room in another cage).
My husband has had snakes since he was a little boy and has taught my sons all they need to know about, RESPECTING these animals and CARING for them.

No it doesn't bother me and no I'm not crazy.....