Sunday, September 30, 2007

Last Post Just Not Good Enough?

Nothing Like It

There is nothing quite like the first fire of the season. Joel went and collected firewood last weekend (thank you Matt, Beth and Jack!) and with all the rain and wind the past few days we decided to warm up the old fashioned way. You know, stand in front of the fire until you can barely stand the heat then run for the couch or chair sit down and feel the heat sink deep down to your bones. Always wondering if this is the time that you've gone too far and actually burned yourself! In my experience I've found that denim (jeans) always hold the most heat and a baggy sweatshirt can be deceptive...the little air pocket between your clothes and your skin fails to alert you to just how hot it is. Come over anytime and we'll put another log on the fire just for you.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Johnson Ink

Noah and Oliver were having a little fun this morning setting up their own business. They are still struggling a bit financially but we have faith in them and their ability to make it work.

At least Noah has learned the value of signing his work. Although, most tattoo recipients may not like that he puts his name in the artwork - we'll have to work on this one.

And now it's Daddys turn to be inked. Noah is teaching little brother the trade...

A Flower

Within 15 minutes of the boys getting out of bed the other morning, cereal on the floor, cat gak surprise and the final straw that broke the camel's back...a full cup of milk spilled in Noah's room. I took a mommy time-out and Noah decided to make me this flower, "because asking you to drive me to the store to buy you one would have just been silly." The boy has a point.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Sorry Baby Binky's Gone Bye-Bye

I don't know if I could count how many times I've said, "Sorry baby, binky's gone bye-bye" in the last three days. Nothing like a little bit of self inflicted torture to finish off your week. Oliver is/was extremely attached to his binkies. He always did like to have something in his mouth so it's no surprise to me that this became a great source of comfort for him. To be honest, I could have let the kid go on with his binky habit but I TRY to parent as a team so we took it away. When he got up on Wednesday he was told that it went bye-bye which was quickly followed by sobs and pleas for said item. The rest of morning was spent in one of three ways, the sobbing cries, him trying to take his anger out on me or destroying/getting into things he shouldn't have been. He went down for his nap with the reminder that he would have to figure out a different way to get himself to sleep followed by almost three hours of crying and what I'd like call toddler cursing. Couldn't figure out what he was saying but he was mad! So no nap that day, cranky kid in the afternoon and bedtime once again sans binky. He, again, cried for some time and I finally went in, picked him up and sat in the rocking chair with him. I sat there crying with him as he kept saying quietly between little sobs, "mama, beebee, pease, mama beebee, pease." Broke my heart but I stood, or sat firm, and rocked him to sleep. Tortuous first day. Yesterday was better, he is still asking for his binky, he only cried for about half an hour before falling asleep for a short nap and after a mild temper tantrum he fell asleep without it, on his own last night. We did have to go in and comfort him around 2am this morning but he went back to sleep until 9am. Thankfully, he went down relatively quickly this afternoon. He still threw a little fit, he threw everything out of his crib but I quickly went in tossed his blankets back into the crib and walked out. He fell asleep shortly after that. So I'm exhausted, my fuse is short and my housework is not getting done but the binky is no more. And you my friends and family got to hear my story because it makes me feel better to talk about fun times in the Johnson household.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


What do you get when you give a 22 month old, that knows where the spoons are, knows how to open the lid to the marshmallow creme jar that is left on the counter and knows that mom is busy folding laundry a new step stool?

Answer: This

Once Upon...Hey Stop Touching Me!

Noah read Oliver his bedtime book last night. It was very sweet but very sibling like too. Oliver wouldn't sit still then he would try to take or touch the book which prompted Noah to snap at him. Once Ollie realized that his brother was actually reading to him and not just taking up space in his room, he settled in for the last half of "The B Book." I am hoping to turn this into a more regular event. Noah is supposed to be reading, for homework, at least 20 minutes each night so why not spend a few of those minutes reading to brother?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I Have To Try

I know that I will not do this justice but I have to try. It was one of those moments where a picture would have said a 1000 words but alas I did not have my camera. So my minimal writing/story telling skills will have to do. I took Oliver to the park and while we were there a Chinese gentleman and his grand-daughter showed up to play. The kids played for a while then this man sat down on the stairs that lead up to the slide. It looked as though he had a string of prayer beads, or something similar, with him that he held dearly in his hands. The beads were nothing special but beautiful in the sense that you could tell they were his and that they were used often. Oliver, whom up until this point was loud and bouncing around, quietly walked up to this man and introduced himself properly by shaking his hand. He then sat down next to him and literally snuggled in close. He pointed to the beads and looked up at him as if to say, "What are those?" The man took Oliver's hand and gently put them onto his beads and showed Oliver how to roll them between his fingers. They sat there together, not saying a word, for quite sometime enjoying the meditative qualities of the worn beads rolling in their fingers. I was ready to pounce thinking that Oliver was going to try and take the strand at any moment but I'm glad I just stood back and let the exchange continue. Oliver looked up at him again and nodded his head, then the man quietly began saying, what sounded like short prayers to me, in Chinese as they both held the beads. I don't know why it touched me so much but the two of them were communicating even though they were years apart in age and neither could speak the other one's language. This went on for a couple of minutes then they were just sitting quietly smiling at each other. I asked Oliver if he was ready to head home yet, he stood up gave this man a hug, said "bye-bye" and climbed into the wagon. I have a feeling that there are a few people, including myself, that could learn a lot from the exchange that took place between these two. It's one that I won't soon forget.


Noah started Karate and he loves it! Turns out the class teaches much more than just Karate. Mr. K is also teaching them a lot about "stranger danger" in a manner that gets the point across much better than just talking to them. He does it in a way that makes sense, is fun and doesn't scare them. Noah has just three simple rules to follow while in class:
1) Karate is for self-defense ONLY,
2) There is NO excuse for bad manners and
3) No whining
Of course there are other codes of conduct and expectations but these are the three biggies. Joel is so excited about the class he wants to join and learn too. I say go for it. When Joel and Noah get home from class they show me what "they" have learned and so he isn't left out, Oliver joins right in and mimics the poses and steps.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Best Fundraiser Ever!

My friend Stephanie emailed me today with one of many fundraisers that I am sure she will be asked to participate in this year. Anyway, I love the idea and if you have time please share a review or two. I am hoping to do 2-3 a day until the 27th. Here is the email that I got from Stephanie...and like she said this is just a great place to get information even if you don't participate.

The kids school is doing a new fundraiser this year that I am very impressed with. You are not asked to buy anything, simply review businesses that you use and the school gets money for every review. I am not just sending this to ask you to participate, (please do if you feel like it) but I thought the website would be useful to you as well. Check it out and let me know what you think.


We got some beautiful flowers from our friends the Gress' along with a sweet note about Buddy. I had told her that I had walked by her house earlier that day and was admiring her colorful yard so I was elated to find some on the porch for me...I mean us. Anyway, I was playing with the color caption feature on our camera and this little friend crawled out just as I took this picture. It's not an amazing picture but it's fun just the same.

Cup Holder

Who needs a cup holder when you have a diaper padded groin? Apparently not my son! I looked over this morning and he was kicked back and relaxing with his cup of milk balanced in this position. This kid is constantly cracking me up.

Or So I Thought

I get a ton of stuff forwarded to me via, jokes, you'll have bad luck if you don't send this a gazillion people (no wonder I can't win the lottery), etc. I was forwarded another video to watch and figured it was "just another video" or so I thought anyway. I received this link to an infant swimming program and I was amazed. It's worth the watch, click on this link to see the video for yourself.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Another Trip to the Zoo

Baby birds looking for a hand-out

On the bridge to Eagle Canyon

Measuring Up to the Bears

A Cool Picture of a Poisonous Frog

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The "Dam"

Before I start this post I just want to say that I was resisting but my sister-in-law started it! We went to the dam yesterday. We saw the dam fish, the dam generators and played with all of the dam exhibits. We went up and down the dam escalators and even went on the dam elevator once. As you can see, Trevor saw a dam fish that was really big in the dam fish ladder. We also saw dam lamprey and other not so big dam fish. They made a dam announcement at 4:45 that said they were closing. So we headed outside to the dam parking lot. We said our dam goodbyes and headed over to the Oregon side to visit the Fish Hatchery. We all had a dam good time! Ten bucks says that the next time you visit the dam you won't be able to resist "dam" talk either.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Trevor is In Town

Shana and Ron are on a cruise to Alaska this week so Trevor is in town. He stayed here with us on Saturday. We went to the 9-1-1 day in downtown Vancouver. We got to tour the dispatch/call center, make buttons, see the fire and police vehicles, pet the horses and their favorite watch the police dog demonstration. Trevor and Noah thought the best part was when one of the dogs bit the "bad guy" in the butt. After spending some time there we all went and had lunch at the walk-up Dairy Queen. Later that day, Noah and Trevor went swimming for a bit and then they played with Oliver when he woke up from his nap. We had pizza with Uncle Ben that night. Mom came on Sunday morning and took the older boys to The Enchanted Forest for the day. They were both pretty tired when they got home. Today, when Noah gets home from school, we will be headed up to Bonneville Dam, both WA and OR sides and the fish hatchery. We have a busy rest of the week planned so I will post more, if I remember my camera!

How About Some Happier Posts?

As you can see, the look of our Blog has changed some. We decided to add a section for links to some artists that we've seen recently and/or just really enjoy. Well, the list pretty much got lost on the right side of the screen so we opted for a three column layout. We figured since we were changing that we might as well go for a different look all together. All the older posts are still here so if you are playing catch up...don't worry we didn't delete a thing.

So with the new link list in mind, Joel and I went and saw Matt Vrba in the Winery at Edgefield last Friday. Yes, I have seen and mentioned him before on the Blog, I saw him at Mississippi Studios with Breanna Paletta and Tyler Stenson. This time though, it was a solo acoustic set and it was incredible. I had mentioned at work how much I enjoyed watching Matt. He just seemed to enjoy what he was doing so much plus he was a great guitar player. Well, my mention of this turned into, "Hey, did you hear that Tiff has a crush on Matt Vrba?" I swear that I work on a set of a soap opera. Don't get me wrong, if I weren't happily married I'd probably actively stalk, I mean support his work but I am, so I just enjoy his music. Anyway, when we got there on Friday night we were literally the only ones there for the first couple of songs. Well, before he started his set Joel went to find himself some whiskey so I struck up a conversation with Matt. I asked a few questions, he asked a few questions then he excused himself to get a quick drink before the show. Matt headed outside at about the same time Joel was headed back and said, "Joel?" Which threw Joel a little but he quickly said, "Yes?" Then Matt told him that I had said he had gone out for a whiskey and would probably run into him. Okay, okay, enough turned out to be a very small, very intimate show and we got to converse with Matt a lot. Joel bought him a beer during the break. Then he personally invited us to his new CD release party in November. Yes, this is open to the public but it was still cool to be personally invited. We bought his acoustic CD that night and he signed it for me...yes, just me. Joel told him that his name would probably just be scratched off anyway so to just address to me. Joel's a good man!

Monday, September 10, 2007

In Loving Memory

Today we had to say goodbye to our dog Buddy. He has been getting sick off and on for the past year and a half. Each time he got sick we lost a little bit more of Buddy. We have a great vet, Dr. Dean, that helped us and Buddy through the process. We stayed with Buddy and said our goodbyes. It was tough but it was for the best. I held it together until Oliver decided to say, quite clearly I might add, his first sentence, "Dog-dog go bye-bye." So long good pal.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

First Grade

Well, today is Noah's first day of first grade! I can't believe it really. He was a bit nervous starting the new year with a new teacher and a new schedule but once he is into the day I'm sure all will be fine. As you can see, Noah and his friend Cole, look a bit nervous out waiting for the bus. As soon as the bus was coming, Noah jumped up and was the first one on. He made sure that he gave us a quick wave as the bus headed for school. At one time I had expressed interest in home schooling Noah and some have asked why I don't or why I chose not to. The answer is that I do home school him...every single day. We have workbooks, we have projects and I take every opportunity that arises to "home school" Noah. Noah loves going to school. He loves the classroom atmosphere, he loves being with his friends, etc. Not to mention that the wonderful school that he is in has some pretty amazing programs that he can work into that I wouldn't be able to do or afford on my own. Why take that experience away from him when he thrives in it? So that is the short answer, we do both public education and home schooling. I will say that is has been a bit quiet this morning, I've usually diffused at least two arguments and/or wrestling matches by now. I wonder if the two of them will make up for it when he gets home from school?

Monday, September 03, 2007

Made Joel's Day

Joel thought that it wouldn't be for another year or two before he got to teach algebra to Noah. Turns out when you have a kid who asks a lot of questions that lesson comes a few days before they start first grade. Joel would give Noah the equation/problem and one of the variables (a or b). Noah would then solve the problem to come up with the other variable. I swear I saw tears of joy in Joel's eyes. Noah caught on quickly and was very excited about that. I figure, that if this keeps up, I will no longer be able to teach Noah math by grade 3!

A Life Lesson?

Blogger has this new video upload feature so I thought I would try it out. Joel has been teaching Oliver how to "launch" the binky. I also have some video of Joel sitting on the couch and launching it across the room onto the chair. However, it's not quite as cute for some reason.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


Do you think that if I put a few dollar bills into my clothes hamper it would exponentially grow just like my dirty laundry does? I swear that my laundry defies all logic!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Movies In The Park

Last night we went down to Esther Short Park and watched Night at the Museum. They set up a movie screen and we, along with quite a few people, pulled up a spot in the park, ate popcorn and enjoyed the movie. Last night was the last one of the season but we hope to hit a few more next year. If your community does something like this I highly recommend it! The boys had fun and if they got a little loud or restless it wasn't that big of deal.