Saturday, November 29, 2008

Home Again, Home Again Jiggity Jog

It's good to go away, but it's better to come home. (Although, I could do without the kids running crazy through the house after enduring a 7-1/2-hour van ride; that isn't my favorite way to be welcomed home.) We had a lovely time of it. 2008 was the Year of Too Many Family Vacations at our house. Steve and I have decided that instead of a family vacation this summer, we are going off by ourselves this time--it's enough already.

We stayed in an uber-fine cabin in a resort called Gatlinburg Falls. Really, really nice. One of the highlights of the trip was the hot tub. We enjoyed that almost as much as the amusement park-kiddie-land thingy (the kids might argue this point). Now, for those of you who might be confused, hot tub with just a couple vs. hot tub with four kids are entirely different experiences. With kids in tow, it's more like a boiling hot, really small, incredibly crowded swimming pool. There's screaming and splashing and 'swimming' which involves pushing off from one side to the other while dragging across everyone else in the 'pool' (with lots of commentary about how mommy needs to shave because her legs are prickly. Hey, thanks. Like I haven't had enough to do already.)

The funny story about the hot tub was one night we got in twice in the same day. The swim suits hadn't quite dried out, so I suggested that the kids just get in in their birthday suits. Carter and Lily shucked out of their clothes and into the water faster than you could say 'naked babies', but E Squared informed me that there was no way in the whole universe that they were going "skinny diving" under ANY circumstances. Especially not with Carter and his Joe the Plumber in there with them.

(Yes, my son calls his program "Joe the Plumber". And yes, I know where he gets it from--he's his father's child all the way.)

Let's see...Tuesday was in the road. We got to the cabin at around 4:00-ish, checked in, and I got everyone settled and went to the grocery store (which is a program unto itself--there is a subtle art to vacation shopping for meals).

On Wednesday, we rode into town and shopped at all of the little touristy shops. We bought various junk items, hot sauce, fudge, caramel apples, books, toys, and this and that. We enjoyed driving around looking at the Christmas lights (honestly, I probably enjoyed it because I wasn't the one driving in the insane traffic). Well, we enjoyed it until the screaming started from the back about what constitutes an actual "Christmas Song" vs. just a "Song That Sounds Christmasy".

Case in point: Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer isn't a true "Christmas Song" according to the Shortie Handbook because only songs about Jesus are Christmas Songs, not songs about reindeer with hazard-flashing noses. Okay then. glad we cleared that up.

On Thursday, we traveled back into Knoxville to eat Thanksgiving dinner with Steve's older brother, Big Ed and his lovely wife, Teri. We enjoyed a huge spread and played Wii for a couple of hours. Kids running to and fro, dogs running to and fro, people stuffed full of smoked turkey and ham sleeping on sofas, time with was a great Thanksgiving. We got back home in time for board games and the hot tub yet again (no skinny diving this time).

Friday, we spent the day riding the Big Woody Go-Karts and various amusement park rides. Even Lily rode with me in the go-karts like a Big Girl. She squealed and screamed and yelled "Faster! Faster!" and "We're gonna win, Mommy!" at every turn. She had more fun than anyone in the entire state of Tennessee.

The house we stayed in had one of these four-in-one arcade games with Frogger, Donkey Kong, Galaga, and Ms. Pac Man. The Husband and I enjoyed this more than the kids did for sure. Took me back to Friday nights at the Putt Putt Golf in Hoover, Alabama and cruising Hoover Square with my Big Hair going and the top down on the VW with a little Violent Femmes in the tape deck. Wicked.

We Johnsons are a competitive people, but perhaps we have finally settled the Great Gaming Debate (for 2008 anyway). I decisively waxed The Husband in air hockey. Won two out of three games 10/9 and 10/9. :-) (He would argue the use of 'decisive' in that sentence, but his team lost to my team today 36-to-0 and he called that a 'close call', so you be the judge.) And as if that weren't enough fabulousness for one long weekend, we rode home to the sounds of the Crimson Tide stomping the Auburn Tigers into the field. Perfect.

All-in-all, a good Johnson Trip. Well, for most of us.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

We are headed to the mountains on a little getaway over Thanksgiving weekend. Just the Four Shorties, me, and The Husband. I'm really looking forward to going off and doing a whole bunch of nothing. I'm baking a turkey breast on turkey day, because all we care about are the sandwiches. This is my kind of vacation. There's no theme park, no swimming pool, no agenda...just a cabin with a fire place, a hot tub, and a huge game room to keep the kids occupied. WHOO-HOO!

We're pulling the kids out of school one day early before they officially let out for Thanksgiving to give us a longer trip (since we have to be back for Sunday). One of the girls was freaking out about getting an unexcused absence on her permanent record. How sick is that? Since when do kids worry about that sort of thing? I'd have been thrilled to miss a day of school for no apparent reason with the blessing of my parents, but not my babies. They won't get a ribbon or some other wonderful prize if they miss a day without being sick. What is happening to our youth? When I'm the biggest rebel in the room, it's Houston, we have a problem.

Since we are going to be out of town for Thanksgiving, we went ahead and decorated the house for Christmas, just to get that out of the way before the busy month of December begins. We put out the colored icicle lights, the big yard art gingerbread house and people, outlined the doors and windows in colored lights, and I added something new this year. I made these huge candies out of Styrofoam and colored plastic wrap to look like lollipops and gumballs. Then I rigged them to the side of the shutters and walls to make the house look like, well, a gingerbread house.

At several points, The Husband had to hang precariously off of a ladder. (We borrowed it from a neighbor since we aren't tool savvy enough to even own our own ladder.) I had to balance the bottom by standing on it so that he wouldn't go flying off into the bushes. I grinned up at him on one particularly harry leaning-and-reaching moment, casually squinted up at him and said, "Your insurance is up to date, yes?"

He laughed and said, "Why? Thinking about cashing in? I can see it now, we're an edition of Forensic Files on TV. I can hear the voice-over now... Cue creepy dead music while rolling the reinactment video. Evidence suggests that Pastor Johnson was leaning precariously over the holly bushes when his wife either let the ladder go or pushed, you decide."

He thinks he's funny.

We finished this little production at around dusk and stepped back to the street to admire our handy work, when he smirked over at me and said, "So, if this is the gingerbread house, does this make you the witch in the woods who tried to fatten up and eat Hansel and Gretel?"

Hmph. I might not be THAT particular witch, but I guess that's more than a little ironic. (Of course, I then chased him through the yard beating him about the head and shoulders with an empty cardboard roll from the Mylar wrapping, giving more weight to his charge about the witch thingy.)

The kids have their big choir production tomorrow at church. We were so into the lighting design outside that we forgot to send them down the dress rehearsal and they were late for practice (figures, preacher's kids). I'm sure that little production will produce an anecdote or two (or three, knowing my kids). I'll be keeping that camera handy, I can tell you.

So, happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! It's really a good time to take stock of the many reasons you have to be thankful. I'm acutely aware of the amazing blessings in my life (they keep waking me up in the middle of the night wanting a drink of water or coloring on my favorite chair): My beautiful children who are insane, loud, difficult, demanding, mouthy, funny, crazy, silly, goofy, sweet, kind, great snugglers, smarty pants, and perfectly wonderful in every single way. I can't imagine what we did before them. I can't imagine what we'd do without them. (Well, maybe sleep later in the morning...but other than that, it's all good.)

I have a Husband who puts up a mile-and-a-half of icicle lights annually without a single complaint, eats whatever I put out for dinner even when it's Leftover Corndog Night at Casa Johnson, loves me when I'm foul (which is frequently), and endures my many mood swings, strange quirks, and idiosyncrasies with a grace that must be divine in nature. He is one of the best things that has ever happened to me; I don't deserve him for a second, but I'm smart enough that I'm not giving him up. (He IS my Edward. Hey, Twilight to you.)

My Mother has lived in good health longer than I ever imagined possible from February to now. She is such an amazing example of Christ in someone, that I don't know where to start. She has been strong, funny, considerate, and compassionate in her own illness. We've been given the most amazing gift of quality time together, and I'm so thankful. She's cracked so many jokes about her own circumstances, that there is no room for sadness. And we know that the Lord has a plan and is in control. Really, the rest is just conversation.

I'm thankful for my father, who has been a source of strength and council and help like I can't put into words. I love him; he is an amazing man and I am proud to call him Daddy. I have an extended family and friendship base that is parallel to none. I have more than I could have ever thought to ask for. I am rich in every way that a person can be. I am thankful for not just these things, but for the saving grace and power of Jesus Christ in my life, for without Him, all of this means nothing. I wish your homes the same blessings!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Unplugged--Johnson Style.

In one of the more surreal moments in my life, we experienced a sort of acoustic cafe in our bedroom this evening. Lily and Carter "performed" what I'd loosely term a breakdown of the rap song Low or, as we affectionately call it at our house, "The Apple Bottom Jeans" song. They used a JES team car flag and a shower curtain rod as guitars. It, I guess some things just have to be seen to be believed.

Again, thank you so much to the cousins in Mississippi for the gift that just keeps on giving in teaching my kids this song. HA! I wonder if this footage will be on that VH1 show Behind the Music one day. one pause for thought.

The part that happened off camera a little later was Lily running through the house behind Carter, (evidently, the band had broken up over creative differences), and she was sing-songing the old standby, 'liar, liar, pants on fire'. Unfortunately, she didn't have that lyric quite on point and was singing, 'liar, liar, pants for hire'.

Okay then. That's it. BEDTIME!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Confessions of a Twilight Mom

It's completely confession time here. I'm addicted. Completely gone. Overboard. Sold out. My problem may require medication and some de-programming at some point.

I'm a Twilight fan.

Whew! It feels good to have that out there finally.

That group of books has been the most fun I've had reading in...well, I think maybe forever (which is saying something for a chick with an English Lit degree who finishes two or three books a week).

I feel like some sort of pervert skulking around the Teen Fiction section of the book store. I didn't go so far as to go to the Breaking Dawn release party, but I did make an entire bus load of women on a WMU outing stop at the book store on that Saturday morning to buy the book while they idled at the curb. When I casually asked if anyone would mind if I stopped at the Books-a-Million for a second, one other woman around my age came to full alert, sat straight up in her chair, and said in an overexcited voice, "Really??? Could we???" and I knew right then she was after the same fix I desperately needed...Twilight.

My friend, Tina, calls it Crack on Paper. How right she be.

So, how bad is this addiction? Well, I'm so crazy that I've already bought my tickets for the first showing of the movie at 1:00 next Friday afternoon. (I'm trying to avoid some of the screaming 13-yr-olds who will still be in school, unless their mother's have checked them out to use as cover for their own 40-yr-old obsessive selves. Drat that I don't have any teen age girls to hide behind!)

I own a T-Shirt (that I paid money for). I check the web daily for Twilight news. I bought the soundtrack the day it came out and have the stupid thing memorized. I have read through the five books (including the only on-line pirated version of Midnight Sun ) oh, something like four times. I even taped a show off of MTV just to watch the cast arrive at a premiere. Issues. I have ISSUES!

And I've loaned the books out to everyone I know, and everyone who has touched it has caught The Fever. So, maybe it's not us afterall. Maybe the people who haven't read the series yet are the ones with the problem...Yeah, yeah. That's the ticket. I have to go check the countdown widget on the official movie page to see how many more hours I have to wait to see it on the big screen now. YEA!!!!!


Okay, so today, I'm taking E Squared to the movies with a friend to see High School Musical 3. It was inevitable, (I just can't believe I got out of it until now). Taking three screaming mimi's to the movie to swoon over Zac Ephron (he's so HOT) is seriously not at the top of my list of Saturday afternoon activities. However, I'm down some points in the Perfect Mommy Title (since napping has been at the top of my Saturday afternoon activities lately), and I need to make up some serious ground here. This should do it.

The son was going to load up and go with us then decided at the last minute that "it's just too much girls for me, Mommy." Yup. For me too, Son.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Nana Bear

Elaina, Elise, Lily, Nana, Carter

This is my Mother with the Shorties on Grandparent's Day. Mother is doing very well. She's still battling Stage IV Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma with a smile on her face. We're taking a break from now until the first of the year to let her body recover and let her try to put on some fighting weight. :-) It's going to be a great Christmas! (Although, it's hard to beat Disney World last year...Santa's going to have to step up.)

Speaking of Christmas shopping...I looked up at my calendar and almost passed out. We're going out of town for a week and I've not bought one single thing for the kids yet. This means that when we get back into town on November 29th, I will have three weeks to do everything for Christmas. AGH!!!

How does this sneak up on me every year? I mean, it's not like they move December 25th around--it's the same time every year. It just never fails to spring up out of the bushes at me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Flash Back

This is a blast from the past story that I found in an e-mail a few years back. Really laughed re-living this particular moment in Johnson History...

Elaina, who was five-years-old at the time, stepped in an ant bed about five minutes before church and was eaten up--I mean 20 to 30 ant bites on her legs. By the time she came running, screaming bloody murder into the house, she was covered in ants--all of the way up to her panties. I started brushing them off and wiping her down with a wet rag in the kitchen, found the Benadryl and First Aid cream, and put her on the sofa to doctor her up. While I was putting the cream on, she had a damp rag on her forehead (diva at its best) and was still sniffling and fanning herself. She peeked out from underneath the rag and looked down at me, Southern belle-style, and said, "Lordy God in Heaven have mercy, I am all tore up. Am I going to live, Mommy?"

That was pretty funny, but this is funnier.

A couple of days later at around 2:00 a.m., Carter, her 3-year-old brother, was in the bathroom peeing, his shorts around his knees, when he saw an ant go across his foot. In a complete flashback of the other day, my son went crazy, jumping around, arms flailing, and tried to crawl up onto the toilet (which is hard to do with the seat up and your shorts down) to get away from the stinging bug, I'm sure having a flashback of what Elaina's poor legs looked like after the ant bed incident.

In the process and panic, he fell knees-first into the toilet. His feet were stuck on the bowl rim, and he was holding the seat lid unable to move, screaming his head off. When I rounded the corner in a sleepy stupor, having no clue what on Earth was going on in the bathroom at two in the morning, Carter began yelling, "Ant! Ant! Ant! THEY ARE TRYING TO KILL ME TOO!!" pointing down at the floor.

When I reached to get him out the toilet, the boy screamed, "Don't flush! Don't flush! I might go down!" Which brings us to my latest project, a compilation called the Parental White Lie List.

No. 7: We aren't laughing AT you, we are laughing WITH you.

Apple for Teacher

Mrs. Cotter reads the blog, so here they are--Lily and her fabulous teacher from MES Eclipse last year! I credit that entire group of women for making Lillian tolerable at Big Girl School this year.

And, drum roll please, we have lift off on the potty training! WHOO-HOO! We've tried toys and new Dora underwear and we've read books and done the Poopy Party Dance and bought glitter to flush--all to no avail.

Completely exasperated, knowing that I'm going to have the only college student who is still using Pull Ups, I finally told my four-year-old daughter, "Honey, if you'll start using the potty like a big girl, we'll do whatever you want--you name it and Mommy will buy it for you."

She tilts her head and thinks on it for a second and says, "Okay, Disney World."

Eight hours later, she's refusing to put on a Pull Up and using the potty like a professional. Great, so that only cost us $4,000. Awesome.

It is totally worth it. :-)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ma'am, Just Remain Calm.

Those of you who know me well impatiently wait for the Annual Adventure that I have at the Christmas Village. This year did not disappoint in any way. I went with two girlfriends on Friday afternoon to downtown B'ham to the Civic Center for the annual arts and crafts show better known as Christmas Village.

We'd driven around in circles for 10 minutes or so looking for good parking without any success. It was about to rain, so we collectively decided to sit in the car at the entrance to the parking deck and wait a minute or two and see if someone else came out--it would beat walking back to the car in the pouring rain trying to carry our purchases.

Now, there were these orange cone things that the parking lady had come out and moved to let some cars in when spaces were available, and I just pulled the bumper right up to them, planning to idle there for a few minutes rather than sit in the turn lane waiting in the middle of the street. We weren't blocking the street or the entrance (already closed off by the traffic cones); we were just hoping for some folks to come out so that we could go in. No big deal.

Well, I guess that the parking attendant thought we were being aggressive just because we were sitting there (listening to the Carpenter's, incidentally--it's hard to be aggressive while singing along to Leaving on a Jet Plane).

Anyway, I guess she called the parking police, because after we'd been sitting there for a minute or so, a cop on a bike pulled up, a parking police woman blocked us in at the rear, and a security dude for the BJCC pulled up in a very big hurry on a golf cart and blocked our car at the front. It was like some sort of weird security guard SWAT attack.

They were all eyeing us and finally, (keep in mind that I've got both hands on the wheel, the stereo on, and the front windows rolled down--and visualize we are three white women dressed like the Gap exploded all over us in a 2007 vehicle about to go into the Christmas Village, not like we're in militia-wear headed into a gun and survivalist show) and the policeman riding the bicycle (carrying a GUN) gingerly approaches the car and says, "So, what's up?"

I look at him not having any clue what is going on and say, "Um...what? We're waiting on a parking place?"

I say it like a question, have both hands in sight, the music is on in the background and I'm smiling--we've been laughing and giggling and chatting about our kids and grand kids and what we hope to buy inside the BJCC this whole time--we haven't been plotting a terrorist-style overthrow of the government or Bourne-Identity thrill ride through the parking deck--just swapping recipes.

Now, this is the part that could sound like I'm exaggerating, but I'm not. Mr. Policeman raises both of his hands like I'm dangerous and he's trying to talk me down off of a ledge and he says, "Ma'am, I'm going to have to ask you to calm down."

I actually laughed out loud and said, "What? Calm down?"

Then I look at Shelley and at Wanda (the girls in the car with me) with my eyebrows raised, and I am still giggling and say, "What do you mean? I'm not upset in the least." I gesture to the parking deck, "We are just waiting here for the parking deck to open up a spot."

He backs away from me a full, exaggerated step, hands still palms out and up, and says, "Ma'am, we are just talking here."

I swear, I hadn't even raised my voice! (And you know that I'd completely admit it if I had gotten smart.) I was still smiling (at this point). So, now I realize that the security man who has blocked us in at the rear is taking down our license plate and is circling the back of the car. Those of you who know these women realize how terrifying Wanda and Shelley can be when they get their Mad On--I'm sure his taking down my tag number was because they were so scary. All 100 lbs of them in holiday wear is terrifying to behold.

The policeman says, "You are going to have to move your vehicle."

Okay then. I'm shaking my head yes, I'll move the car and say, "Okay, no problem, but I'm blocked in here, and I can't move."

"Again, ma'am just remain calm." (Maybe I was a little sarcastic about the being blocked in thing?? Who can tell at this point?)

I turn to Shelley and say, "Am I acting like I'm upset?"

She shook her head no and gave me this what-in-the-world-is-happening-here look. I certainly don't know.

So, at this exact moment, when I am in fact, about to get angry with this guy who keeps telling me to calm down, the parking attendant who'd been so scared that we were threatening her by sitting at the entrance to the parking deck, comes out of her booth and yells up at the cop, "HEY! I've got a space open for that car if they want to come in now."

It's clear that Deputy Dog here thinks we are causing a ruckus of some sort. We're getting the I'm-dealing-with-vermin once over for a second or two, then he nods slowly at the Parking Lady and turns to me and says, "I guess she's going to let you park in there now, even after all of this."

And because I can't help myself, I say, "Because of all WHAT? What is THIS exactly? Do you get a lot of angry, white, middle-aged women committing violent crime in the parking deck before entering the Christmas Village, an ARTS AND CRAFTS SHOW???"

Now, he should be telling me to calm down because I'm actually getting wound up, instead he moves the cones and lets us into park. HA!

So this confirms that I am indeed on some sort of list somewhere. Nothing else explains that weirdness. Who knew that the BJCC is profiling soccer moms?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Rolling of the Yard

Yard Rolling

For Pastor Appreciation Month, most pastors get a card or a love offering (we got both of those in spades), but the added bonus this year was from the youth department. In a show of love and support, they rolled our yard. Now, for those of you not from the South, you may not even know what “yard rolling” is, so I’ll define. It’s when you hurl mass quantities of toilet tissue all over the lawn and trees.

I’m not sure what the youth have against giving us a nice plant or say, maybe babysitting for us for free, but it seems that the traditional rolling of the yard in our part of the world is some sort of ritual indicating that we are Part of the Crew. It’s a high compliment. (Which we intend to repay in a mighty way at some future date. Hey, we didn’t go through the purgatory of youth ministry without learning a thing or two about the concept of retribution.)

We’d just gotten home from camp with the kids, and Ms. Shelley and her family loaded all of the Shorties and took them away from us on Saturday night (probably sensing through divine intervention that she was saving us from committing murder, because I’d had ENOUGH of screaming children at that point.) My mother went to stay at her sister’s house over the weekend. It was a glorious, child-free, mother-free evening at the Johnson house. I actually read a book, ate my dinner by myself with no one wanting to take a bite off of my plate, and got to spend some Quality Time with The Husband. (What? What do you call it at your house?) So, waking up to a yard full of toilet paper was a quick trip back into My Real Life.

It’s never a dull moment, folks.

And that morning, The Husband from the pulpit picked on the Yard Rollers by accusing them of not spelling "Roll Tide" correctly, so they came back again that night and did a repeat with the letters spelled in extra large font right there on the lawn. So, if you drive by and see a dude dressed like a tree in our bushes, don't panic. That would be The Husband on night patrol laying in wait for youth armed with Charmin sneaking around our house.

Halloween, er, I Mean The Fall Festival

We are a Dress Up For No Particular Reason sort of people at the Johnson household. We just like costumes. They are fun. Just because.

Here are the Shorties in their self-styled costumery

Lily in her cat suit.
Elise as a Movie Star (her Daddy was so proud of that outfit)

And Elaina as a boy. Carter as Anakin Skywalker. We are all about trick or treating and fall festivals and dressing up in costumes and just enjoying our community.

I don’t think that Lily really remembers the entire Halloween experience last year very clearly. She enjoyed it so much more this year. Every time they dropped a piece of candy in Lily’s bag, she gave this little maniacal laugh and shook all over with glee as if to say, “All I have to do is say ‘trick or treat’ and they GIVE me the CANDY???!!! Ha-ha-ha-ha!” It was hilarious. She also tore it up on the bobbing for apples deal.

Someone glancing through wanted to know why I didn't have more photos of Carter. Honestly, that Anakin Skywalker mask freaked me out. It was like taking photos of some midget, not my son. So, he only got one or two the whole night. Poor kid. I'm going to give him some sort of complex.

Why We Didn't Have Ten Kids

Fall Missions Camp at WorldSong

They say that moms get some sort of amnesia a year or so after giving birth, because if you really remembered how it was to be pregnant and deliver a baby you’d never again in your right mind voluntarily submit to that particular brand of torture. But some time passes after you give birth, and you find yourself ogling at babies, offering to hold them because you like the baby powder smell, and glancing longingly at the infant clothing as you wander through stores. It’s like God’s special little way of tricking us into procreating again; without this amnesia, one time on that ride would do most of us for a lifetime.

I guess that God does that same selective recollection modification thingy to former Youth Pastors too, because as though four years in youth ministry wasn’t enough torment, er, I mean to say wasn’t a source of great joy in our lives, we loaded up 12 elementary-school aged kids and headed to overnight Camp in Cook Springs, Alabama for a missions weekend learning about Venezuela.

Now, learning from the missionaries and eating the food and singing the songs were all very educational and enjoyable. But more than that, we had a brutal reminder about camp food and camp lodging. Let me tell you something. There is nothing to really bring you back to counting your blessings as quickly and as harshly as eating a camp hot dog and sleeping in a bunk bed in a large room full of squealing 8-yr-old girls. Those people at Gitmo better shut up or we’ll move them to summer camp in Alabama and see how they like that.

All in all, we had a great time, an uneventful trip, and learned a lot of information about missions in Venezuela. Yea!

The Fashionista Show

In no particular order, I’ll start with The Fashionista Show.

The girls’ mission group at church put on a fashion show in October to raise awareness and collect pajamas for the Pajama Program—a ministry that provides kids in shelter situations with new pjs and books. ( Instead of just putting out collection boxes in the foyer (like sane people would have done), we put on this fashion show--the price of admission being a package of brand new pjs and books.

We had this elaborate stage put together by Ms. Summer and Ms. Bridgett (two highly talented women in our church). It was seriously a work of art. Summer had the idea to decorate the runway like a canopy bed, and boy, did that concept work out. The girls felt like princesses, and we raised a TON of pjs and books for the Pajama Program.

The categories were a little different than you might expect. We had “sportswear” where the girls actually wore the uniforms from the sports they play. And an entire grouping of pajamas, naturally. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun at the same time.

Here are my fashion divas on the runway. Victoria Beckam and Katie Holmes better move on over, because here come the Johnsons.

Daylight Savings my Ear

Wow. I can’t believe I started the month off like a blogging maniac and the let it fall away like that. No excuse, but it has been a crazy month. Where did the time go? I’m ready for the holidays so that I can rest (snickering while typing).

I survived all of the back-to-back events that I had scheduled (which is saying something). I had a woman at church this weekend, hustling to set up for the Fall Festival that we host, cut her eyes at me and say, "So, what will you have us doing next weekend, Charlotte? I think we have a free day or two that you’ll be wanting to fill up with another huge activity." Ahhh...they know me so well already! Well done!

So, I'll be working on some updates this week to get everyone caught up on the month of October.