Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Friends and Treats

Thatcher, Cole and Noah

Dracula and Mini-Dracula

Headed out to Trick or Treat
What did you get Noah?
Oliver inspecting his loot

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Can We Go Yet?

Ready to go and waiting for us slow-poke parents to get our act together.

Getting Ready

Getting their hair and makeup done for the big night ahead.

With New Traditions Like This

...who needs enemies?

Apparently, last year when Noah decided to test the strength of the sidewalk by smashing into it with his skull resulting in a concussion and later a beautiful shiner, he was starting a new Halloween Johnson Family tradition. This year, it wasn't quite as dramatic but the shiner is revealing itself quite nicely. It darkens and the purples become more brilliant as the swelling goes down and the bruising comes out to play. Oliver and his temper decided that going to bed was not an option last night so to prove that he was right and I was wrong he flung himself down dramatically. Well, when he did this he smashed his check and/or eye into the crib rail. I didn't turn on the light, just picked him up, calmed him down and put him back to bed. This morning I went in to find Oliver with a swollen eye (almost shut) and a nice bruise. The only good thing is that I won't have to use as much makeup on the little vampire. Any guesses on who the shiner belongs to next year?
Noah and his shiner last Halloween

Monday, October 29, 2007

Pumpkin Carving & Painting

We have a ton of those pumpkin carving kits but Noah decided to design his own this year. Then he did the bulk of the carving while Joel did the tiny, more detailed, areas.

Joel and Noah discussing the finer points of pumpkin carving while Oliver completely ignores them for his friend Elmo.

Oliver painting his pumpkin, he was going for the add as many colors to the front as I can look. I think he accomplished this quite nicely.

Okay, this is Noah's painted pumpkin. I know he has a great imagination but sometimes the kid really surprises me. This is what Noah said when I asked what he was painting.

"The black is the color of the sky and the darkness that surrounds the evil. The purple shows the portal that blood sucking vampires, like Dracula, come through when they want to enter our world. And the white is the clouds that curl away from the darkness and portal. That way the clouds make a good frame for my painting."

Noah's design is of, "An alien that died but not quite because the vampires got to him so he's alive again but not really. That is why he has blood dripping from his teeth because he had to drink blood to continue in the ways of the vampire." Are you seeing a theme for this Halloween yet?

Joel's ware wolf peaking through the curtains.

My Weekend Getaway

I went away this weekend to the Camano Craft Hideaway on Camano Island. It's about a four hour drive north of here. I went with a couple of great friends, Candy and Stephanie and we met up with my sister, Shana, Aunt Cherie, Jen, Marge and Brenda. It was a great group and our hostess, Lorie, was wonderful. I got a ton of scrap booking done but best of all laughed, relaxed and enjoyed a weekend away from the normal routine of life. Back here at home they had a boys only weekend and it sounds like they were busy and had a great time too. Noah was sad that his boys only weekend was coming to a close but happy to have me home. Thanks to everyone for a great weekend!

Halloween Party

Joel had the boys this weekend and he took them to the Kanthak Karate Halloween party. It was held at Noah's school, Illahee Elementary. The boys said they had a great time and, as you can see, Noah went as Dracula. This is a little preview of Halloween night's costume, he will have makeup on his face for the trick or treating.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Harvest Party

My mom's neighbor owns a real estate company Burns and Olson and they throw a community Harvest Party each year. It costs two cans of food to get in and then you get to eat treats, hot dogs & hamburgers, listen to live music, visit with the firemen, get your face painted, have balloon animals made for you, get a free Harvest Party picture, ride on horses, jump in the castle, drink hot cocoa, coffee or warm cider and take home a free pumpkin. I'm putting this Harvest Party on my annual to-do list!


Finally, a new toothbrush sans little brother's ear wax!

I Predict

That, in the future, the toy motorcycle will be replaced with a real one, the wheelie will scare me to death instead of make me laugh and the dirt on his chin will be replaced by a goatee.

For Me?

There is a park off of the old Evergreen Highway, it's got some long name that I can never remember, but we call it the Train and Fish Park. It is a small trout fish hatchery and the train tracks run right past it. We love going there. The boys can feed the fish, see trains, walk trails, play the salmon game, eat at the picnic tables, etc. Anyway, we went the other day and the boys picked flowers for me all along the trail on our walk. I captured a few pictures since I knew the flowers would, for the most part, not make it home.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fact, Confession, Tip and Recipe

FACT: I love to bake! Cookies, pies, cakes, dessert bars, etc. if it's yummy and loaded with things that you just shouldn't eat on regular basis then I want to bake it!

CONFESSION: Even though I love to bake I HATE making the cut-out cookies that you see everywhere from now until the holidays are over. I have never had good luck rolling out the dough after it's been refrigerated. No matter what you say, I find it difficult. Best when done as cool as possible, refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight or 2 days, let it warm a little but not to room temperature, use flour, use wax paper, etc. I've tried it all and just came to the conclusion that I stink at it and just don't enjoy it at all. The sticky mess and overworked sub-par cookies I'd end up with just weren't my cup of tea. This much to the disappointment of my boys who love to bake too and LOVE to decorate...

TIP: I'm going to start this section by stating that I am no longer talking to you if you knew of this trick already and did not share it with me! I found this tip on-line, desperately searching for a way to make this work so my boys could have some fun, and it is one of the best tips I've found in quite a while. After you make the dough roll it out BEFORE you refrigerate it that way when you are ready to make cookies all you have to do is throw on a little flour so the cookie cutters don't stick and you're good to go! I threw my wad of dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, patted it down with my hands, put another piece of parchment on top, rolled out the dough and finally to make sure it was even, I took another cookie sheet and pressed it on top. What a great idea! I am actually excited about this holiday delight and can't wait until Noah gets home to share the news.

1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup shortening or butter*
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Early in the day or the day before:In a large bowl cream the shortening and the sugar. Add the eggs, extract, and milk. In a medium bowl mix the dry ingredients with a wire whisk. Add the dry ingredients to the large bowl. Mix with mixer until well combined. With hands, shape dough into a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease cookie sheets. Roll** half or 1/3 dough at a time, keep the rest refrigerated. For crisp cookies, roll dough, paper thin. For softer cookies, roll 1/8 " to 1/4" thick. With floured cookie cutter, cut into shapes. Re-roll trimmings and cut.
Place cookies 1/2 inch apart on cookie sheets. Decorate*** Bake 8 minutes or until very light brown. With pancake turner, remove cookies to racks; cool. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.
*I've found that if you want "sturdy and tasty" cookies you should use 1/2 shortening and 1/2 butter. Shortening makes cookies sturdy and butter makes them tasty.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Only Because Noah Asked Me To

Noah has no idea how much he will hate videos like this in the future but since he asked for it to be posted to the blog it's now available for your viewing pleasure. Noah would like to know if you thought it was funny so please take the survey to your left after your done watching it.

Brotherly Love???

Ollie went potty so I asked him to wash his hands. I stepped out (I've really got to stop doing this) to get a clean hand towel but along the way got "mommy distracted" - you know, heading to the linens to get a clean towel, trip on shoes left in hallway so pick those up, while headed to shoe box, realize that someone spilled his water on the floor so you grab a rag to wipe that up, while right there pick up the two books and toss them back into the bookshelf then realize what your first task was and head back to the bathroom. ANYWAY, I go back to the bathroom and hear the electric toothbrush which isn't normally a big deal. Oliver has his own and loves to brush his teeth whenever he's given the opportunity. I come around the corner and see Oliver with a HUGE grin on his face and his brothers electric toothbrush in his ear. I believe that Oliver knew exactly what he was doing - the smile/smirk/devilish grin gave it all away. I'm wondering now if this is why Noah was complaining of a sour taste on his toothbrush last night.

Note: For all that are wondering, yes, I did tell Noah. I promised him a trip to the store to get a new toothbrush sometime this weekend. He was, rightly so, pretty upset when I told him and instructed me to, "put him back in his room RIGHT NOW!" Maybe I'll post a picture of Noah with his new toothbrush later this weekend.

The Power of Big Brothers

Noah loves to just chill and have a few moments to himself in his room. He will curl up on his bed with a bunch of blankets, pillows, etc., grab a snack and watch a video. Well, yesterday Oliver kept asking me to put in a video, Ben 10, to be exact which is one of Noah's favorites right now. I kept pushing him towards Blues Clues or Wiggles, you know something more his age. He was just getting mad at me and kept handing me Ben 10 so I relented and put in Ben 10 for him. I went off to fold some laundry and heard Oliver rustling around in the cupboards. No biggie, my cupboards are his cupboards so I kept folding laundry. After a few more minutes I went to check on him and found him curled up on brothers bed with a bunch of blankets, pillows, etc., eating a snack of Cheerios and watching a video. You know just chilling and having a few moments to himself. A serious case of deja vu!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Having Fun

I've been stumped about what to do for Oliver's birthday invitations...until today. Oliver loves his animal books and he loves to make all the noises that go with them so we got out our supplies this morning and made these. I kept it simple so that Ollie could help me some, he especially liked the tape/adhesive part of the project. We still have to figure out when and where and get that put inside but the hard part is done.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

More Fall Photos

I thought it was interesting that this tiny little leaf found it's way to the top of this small mushroom.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Draw Palm!

Kelly, from the Kanthak Karate class, snapped this picture of Noah doing the "draw palm" move. Noah says, "that was the right draw palm with left foot. Mr K. is a good teacher."

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pumpkin Patch 2007

We met up with my brother and his friend, Sharon, and her two boys Jake and Ryan at the Sauvie Island Pumpkin Patch. We got there early and the fog had still not burnt off. It made for some interesting pictures. I love the pumpkin patch time of year. I even managed to remember to get a family picture this time around. We took a ton of pictures so here a few plus some more.

It was a foggy morning

Is that the perfect pumpkin?

Cute pumpkins

Playing on the hay pyramid
Oliver shielding his eyes from the non-existent sun

Our big boy

Resting by the friendly scarecrow
My little "Son"flowers

End of season for the flowers

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Many Ideas

I am doing everything but what I should be doing today, so with that being said: A friend of mine, Candy, introduced me to yet another blog for me to "check out." It's an incredible blog with a ton of incredible ideas for your scrapbook. I took one of her ideas, put my own twist on it and posted it below. But here's the catch, looking through your child's, grandchild's, niece's, nephew's, etc. eyes what would you want to see stopped? I had many things that I could have listed but picked these few words. Let me know what words you would've used on your page.

Sometimes It's Just Fun

Sometimes it's just fun to play with your camera's features and get a few fun shots of your kids. Or in my case, about 60 shots in under 20 minutes. Keep that shutter clicking and you end up with a few good ones in the bunch. These are a couple of my favorites from both the black and white and sepia features. Are you smiling yet?