Monday, March 31, 2008

Camp Fear Factor

Okay, so this is my child 100 feet in the air (well, maybe 20) partaking in a Spring Break Camp ritutual of hurling oneself down a mountain strapped to a rope.

Elaina took a little more convincing to make the leap of faith, but in the end she counted this as one of the best experiences at camp. I'm proud of my girls! Not everyone has the fortitude to do this, and there are my seven-yr-olds doing it like they mean it. Whoo-hoo!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Stash

Like most moms with a chocolate problem, I've got a "stash" in the house. Although I'm not storing drugs in my 'stash' it might as well be because the draw is the same as if I had heroine in the top of the cabinets instead of Little Debbie's or Hershey Bars.

Now, Moms who don't have a chocolate problem are rolling their eyes all pious, but if you don't profess to have a chocolate problem, you probably have a Salt Issue. Those Salty Craving Chicks scare me way worse than the Chocoholics. See, the chocolate girls will sneak a bite or two. Salty Girl are known to buy a jumbo bag of Salt and Vinegar chips and a coke and eat the entire family size bag on the way home from the grocery store, stopping to ditch the bag/evidence in the outside garbage cans and thinks no one is the wiser. So, they Quick Fix instead of Stashing/Hoarding.

So, what's in the stash right now? Depends on the season and what your poison is. Take Easter for instance...I might rob the Easter baskets of several little snack size Snicker bars and little Butterfingers eggs and I might actually have one or two of those Reese Peanut Butter egg thingies if no one's paying attention. I put them in the stash and save them for a moment when I need a little something to get through the afternoon.

Like after I complete a particularly gnarly task like cleaning out the laundry room might warrant a square off of a Godiva Chocolate Fruit and Nut Bar. Just one square as a pick me up. But, say for instance, the afternoon I washed an entire load of brand new school clothes with a Sharpie marker, well that required two Reese Peanut Butter eggs and a glass of leaded Coke. I'd have eaten a couple more, but it was time to get the kids from school. :-)

The problem with keeping a regular 'stash' is that you have to keep moving it to save the really good candy for yourself, because Shorties are merciless little hunters who will dig for treasure until they hit bounty. They know it's there, they just can't sniff it out if you keep moving it.

Sometimes you put up the really good snacks the same way--like when you first get home from the grocery store you'll put the chips on top of the fridge or the sugar cereals up in the pantry--but no mother worth her salt is stupid enough to store the 'good snacks' in any sort of proximity to the 'stash'. Seriously, the kids getting a sugar high on a bag of $1.19 Nutty Buddy Bars is one thing; eating my $4.00 bag of Pepperidge Farm Chocolate Cookies is entirely another.

Imagine the disastrous consequences if I'd made that rookie mistake the other night when Lily the Restless Snack Hunter went on a mission at 10:00 in the p.m....but no, I am Smarter than the average Bear. appears as though Lillian's problem will be with Pop Tarts.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Easter Fashion for Moms in the Know

Easter photos from years gone by...I love that photo of the girls. They were so excited to be hunting eggs at their great-grandmother's house.

Is anyone else in the habit of tormenting their children for Easter? We gave that up several years ago. No 9-month-old wants to wear a tie, for goodness sake. Most 30-year-olds don't want to either for that matter. And if I know for a fact that I'm tearing off panty hose two feet inside the threshold of my house, why on earth would I shove my daughters into tights? It's a mystery. So, you're looking at the twins in their Easter Shorts. Ha!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Yard Dogs

Yard Dogs are part of Life in the Country.
When you a) live in the country b) have small children who eat weenies and cookies outside and c) start feeding the stray dogs, they suddenly go from Stray Dogs to Your Dogs.

So, for the last few months, we've aquired quite a little yard dog menagerie. We've got a huge white terrier/corgi thing called Snowball. (We think she technically belongs to our next door neighbor, but she sleeps and eats here at Casa Johnson.)

Her little buddy is a brown and white Jack Russell that the kids have named Biscuit. I don't know where he resided before, but Biscuit is clearly Carter Johnson's Dog. They are having the sort of love affair that only a 5-yr-old boy and a dog can have.

And then the true stray who came up starving to death and now looks like a really skinny lab/German Sheppard thing is Peanut. Okay then.

They follow us to church and stay under the church bus waiting on us to come out after service. They bark when the UPS man pulls in the drive way. They let the kids sit on them, pet them, snuggle them, feed them, pull them, push them, etc. It's quite a show. I like Yard Dogs. (Mostly because they aren't House Dogs.)

I've got the windows and doors open. Mother is napping. The twins and Carter and two little friends are jumping on the trampoline in the backyard. And Lily is outside the doorway of the screen porch (where I'm writing this) trying to push Biscuit into a box three sizes to small for him and he's wagging his tail and trying to lick her face. She is stomping around and shoving him with both hands. She just stood up and huffed her bangs out of her eyes and said, "Get in that box, you id-yeee-it!" I'm pretty sure that's "idiot" in Lily-speak. :-) Funny.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Viva Las Vegas!

Okay, so, I have this impossible dream. As The Preacher's Wife, there are a handful of essential things that are on the Must Not Do list. Some are obvious, like 'get stinking drunk' (in public--Baptist humor right there--hardee-har-har) or 'cuss like a sailor' (at church members). Some are less obvious...

For example, I am dying to see Las Vegas. I just want to SEE it. The lights, the sparklies, the castles, er, hotels, the shows. I want to stay in a hotel with a view of the entire strip and just stare at it all night. (sigh)

So, every year when it comes time to talk about The Husband and me going off somewhere (which is a must for every married couple--you need to go away alone without the kiddies at LEAST once a year), I throw Las Vegas in the mix and he patiently explains, with lots of sighing, that as a Right Reverend and Baptist Minister he is never, ever going to Las Vegas.


So, this year, when the conversation rolled around (yet again), he joked that if the Southern Baptist Convention was ever held in Las Vegas we would go. I threw back to him, "What about a close approximation?" He snorted and said, "As if."

Well, God loves me. He really, really loves me.

Beth Moore is headlining a Deeper Still event in Las Vegas September 5-6. So, not only do I have a 'reason' to go to Las Vegas, it's a GIRL'S WEEKEND sort of deal.


Or maybe that's not so much that God loves me as it is Satan is tempting me. Hmmm... ;-)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Nana Report

Everyone has been so sweet to check on me--we've missed the entire month of February. My mother went into the emergency room February 1st with what she thought was the flu and left the hospital on the 27th with Stage IV Follicular Lymphoma. I feel like it's all passed in a fog.

As you can tell even from this silly blog, my mother is a huge part of our daily life as the Johnson family. She is at our home almost every day, making snacks, diapering babies, eating meals with us. We've never been on a family vacation in 14 years without my mother in tow, so, this has been difficult on us in more ways than I can express.

She's unable to go home right now in her condition. We moved the girls into our basement bedroom and gave her the bedroom next to ours so that I can hear her at night. I'm thankful to have her home with us now, to have the space to bring her here, and to have the resources to care for her. It's already been a huge blessing in my life.

It's funny...I probably could have done a thousand different things with my life. Sometimes I wonder what I could have done if I'd stepped out of my comfort zone and risked some things. But if I'm being completely honest with myself, what I really, really wanted to be, even from the time I was a little girl, is a Mother. I wanted a house full of babies. I wanted to do incredibly mundane things like sit at soccer games and cut the crusts off of sandwiches and snuggle and give bubble baths and angel kisses. I have been blessed with the four shorties--they have exceeded any dream that I ever had. My house is loud and messy and crazy and hectic and insane most of the time. But it's warm and dry and full of hugs and kisses and snuggles and laughter and playful children. I couldn't ask for a better life.

And this opportunity to take care of my mother is another great blessing. I get to "mother" in a whole new way. The tasks are the same whether caring for my children or my mother: giving baths, changing her clothes, making her meals, brushing her hair, sitting and visiting, snuggling, reading stories, getting her another sippy cup of drink. When I mull it over, all of the things that I could have done with my life pale by comparison to this great privilege of caring for and loving my family. It is the highest office--an honor.

I'll try to do better about updating the blog now that she's settled into the house with us. We don't know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future.