Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Birthday Wishes For...

GrandPop Bruce!! Today is his birthday so I asked the kid below what we should do for GrandPop and he said, "I'll be right back!" A while later he came back with...
A Lego birthday card just for GrandPop! I think he did pretty good! I hope you like it GrandPop!
Then I asked this kid what he wanted to do for GrandPop and he said, "A video." So I turned on the camera and...
Got this fine bit of cinematography...


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Good Thing I Like Tattoos

The artist...
The canvas...shall we take a closer look?
A skull and something on the right arm...
A sad AND smiley face on the left arm...
The neck piece...
The understated back piece...
The, per the canvas' request, swirl and polka dot belly piece...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Let The Battle Begin!

Noah's karate school held a Battle Nerf Night tonight. It was free to all the students and they had a great turn out. I think Mr. K said about 40 students were there battling it out. All the kids brought pillows and blankets to build bunkers and I'm guessing had a great time. We just dropped Noah off and enjoyed a couple of quiet hours at home. I can't find Noah in this picture that they sent but it gives you an idea of what went on...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lacamas Lake

Oliver and I went up to Lacamas Lake today to walk the 1.2 mile loop that goes around the lake. With a very curious 3 year old the loop took us about 3 times as long. That's okay though, it's like outdoor school. He's learning a lot and doesn't even realize it. We always look at the maps/trail guides and find the "you are here" markers, talk about where we've been and how much farther we have to go. I played a game today that when we heard running water he had to find where it was coming from. Even though he probably didn't understand much of it I explained the importance of keeping those little streams and water around our house clean so that once it made it to the lake it would still be clean. We looked at all the different kinds of trees and found bird nests, holes that the woodpeckers had created, rotted ones with new plants growing from them, etc. All of the birds were really active today and he tried chasing a few of those around and did not understand why they didn't want him to pet them. It was another fun, beautiful day and makes me long for spring that much more!

Checking out the information on the lake and the maps before heading out onto the trail.

Oliver says, "Silly tree growing out of the water!"

Throwing rocks and pine cones into the water. We would watch the ripples to see how far they would go out. There were some ducks in the water and we were cheering the ripples on in hopes that they would reach them and make them quack.

The trail is pretty shaded but the sun was trying to bust through the trees.

There is a small dam at the SW corner of the lake that you cross to continue the loop.

Looking over the spillway from the top of the dam.

I should have dressed Ollie in forest colors then I could have made a game out of trying to find the boy. Not hard to spot in the bright red though.

The loop takes a nice climb up and you get some pretty views of the lake.

I should have turned the video on this loon. It would spread it's wings then inch a little closer to the bird on the end. As soon as the one on the end would turn and look, the one would fold in it's wings and stop until the one on the end looked away. It inched it's way about a foot closer in the time that I was watching.

We found a patch of empty snail shells in a muddy spot. We had fun digging around for them and talking about what used to be inside.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Noah's Family Story

Noah had an assignment to write a short story about his family. Noah HATES and I mean HATES to write. He has no interest what-so-ever in doing something as mundane as writing. It frustrates me to no end and is a constant homework battle. He asked me the other day to home school him thinking that if I were his teacher that he wouldn't have to write anymore. I told him that if I were his teacher then he would have a writing assignment every day and not just one a week. He changed his mind quickly. Anyway, after a lot of talking, stories, suggestions, etc. this is what he decided to do, and I think it's pretty sweet...short, but sweet...

Dear Great Granddad,

My name is Noah Wayne Johnson, I'm your great grandson. I am 8 years old, I go to Illahee and do karate.

My dad is your grandson, Joel Wayne Johnson. My dad told me that you died in 1981. If you were still alive today, I would ask you these questions:
  1. Did you have a gaming system like the PSP?
  2. What was the Navy like?
  3. Did you have any hobbies?
  4. Did you have a boomerang when you were a boy?
  5. What was your life like when you were a kid?
I wish that I could have met you if I had a chance. For now, I'll ask my dad and Grandpa about you instead.

Love, Noah

Haircut and Preschool

I say to Oliver, "You are in a great smiley mood this morning and looking quite handsome." He smiles and says, "I need a haircut." He then gathered his stool that he likes to sit on, a towel to wrap around his shoulders, stripped down and told me to, "go get the clippers." I got the clippers and met him in the bathroom.
Before...nice bed hair!

After...look at that hairy back.
I also went to his preschool today and signed Oliver up for the 4 year old class starting in September. I love that school, Mill Plain United Methodist Christian Preschool (MPUMP), the same one that Noah went to. I walked in, saw Noah's first teacher, Mrs. Haugen and she stopped, looked at me and said, "No way, is Oliver old enough, is he? He can't be!" She then asked me how Noah was doing in school. Wow! Good memory, it's been 2 1/2 years since Noah has attended there. Then I went into the director's office and Linda DeMorgan greeted me warmly and asked how we were all doing. I asked/made sure that I could sign up Oliver on returning parents registration day since Noah hadn't been there for a couple of years and she says, "For goodness sakes, yes. You ARE a returning parent plus you picked up/dropped off Jacob, Jackson and Mackenzie so often that you could be considered a returning parent for multiple kids." Again, I was shocked at how much they remembered. Anyway, I digress, Oliver is now officially enrolled at MPUMP...little do they know what they've gotten themselves into.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pictures from the Park

We went to Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens in Portland today. We brought along a bunch of cracked corn to feed the ducks and geese and had a great time. It was a brisk day but the sun was out. After the walk through the gardens we went to Hopworks Urban Brewery for some delicious food (add this one to the list Janet!), with John and his boys. Remember to click on the pictures for a larger view if desired...

This guy met us just inside the front gate. I think he was a bit upset that we only had cracked corn for the water fowl and not a pocket full of peanuts.

Wood Ducks are beautiful!

Lots of geese there today.

This red bush had a bunch of little feathers in it.

Got my ducks, er I mean geese, in a row.

We were all focused on the water fowl and we heard, "Um, don't worry, I okay." We turned and saw this. He was smiling so we took his word for it.

Why is it that the ones with the most energy are the ones asking for and getting rides?

Not sure what these were but they smelled incredible.

I love this boy!

Last year's leaf held up to the sun.
Noah and I found it fascinating.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pillow Fights, Piggy Backs and Paul Bunyan

I love, love, love the days that my boys play well together. With them being 5 years apart it doesn't always happen. An annoying little brother and a pesky big brother don't always play nice.

Nothing like a good ol' fashion pillow fight. It was cracking me up though because Noah fought almost the entire time with one hand in his pocket. Oliver kept yelling, "come on brudder!" Then he would run at Noah and just end up knocked down again. They were both having a good time.

Paul Bunyan? or Big Foot? You decide.

Oliver asked for a piggy back ride and Noah obliged.

Friday, February 13, 2009


On Friday mornings from 9am to noon, GrandBob hosts a radio show on called, "Don't Start Me Talking." It's fun to tune in and hear Bob but if you're a Rush Limbaugh fan you might not want to. The first hour is usually political mumbo jumbo that Bob rants and raves about. The second hour is a little less intense and the third hour is all about fun. Book reviews, movie reviews, a contest and a few callers all happen in the last hour. Anyway, I listen online and usually have the chat window open along with the, newly available, live video feed. Oliver has really taken a new interest in listening to "GranBop" because he can see him now. It cracks me up, though, when Oliver gets really close to the computer and yells, "HI!!!! GranBop!!" He hasn't quite figured out that this isn't a two-way audio/video feed.

Here is Ollie waving to Bob, I love that his earphones are all askew. A close up of the live video feed that Oliver waves to and yells at. If I would have timed it better I could have caught Bob waving.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

No Signature Required

I got an email from Janet, she didn't want to ruin the surprise but was worried that I might have to sign for something so she wanted to give me a heads up. Thinking that I was going to have to sign for something, I was surprised when I found the package at my mailbox yesterday afternoon! I went back home and promptly tore it open and this is what I found...

Herbal foot lotion, stamps to help with the postage on my next R.A.K. and super yummy delicious Buckeye candy from Marsha's! What a great surprise!
(please ignore the missing buckeye, I just couldn't help it!)

Janet just happens to work at Marsha's in Ohio so she gets to help make the peanut butter and chocolate treat. They are a delight and would make a great gift! And just so you know, they go great with your morning coffee.

Oliver would also like to thank Janet for his gift. He can not tell you how much fun he had jumping up and down on the bubble wrap! How did you know?

As a totally silly side note, as I was taking pictures of my gift, something kept catching my eye. When I finally stopped and focused, I realized that it was one of Joel's black socks. Why is there a sock on my dining room table? How did it get there? I have no idea but it had better be clean! Our table seems to be that place that everything lands so it really shouldn't surprise me, but come on, a sock?
Janet, thank you for my great surprise!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

World Tour Fun

After a large car repair bill that was unexpected we still had a Wii bit of tax return money left and we decided, as a family, to spend it on something totally frivolous and fun, the Guitar Hero World Tour Complete Band game. A quick trip to the local Toys R Us and we came home with our new toy. As soon as it was possible, the game was set up and my boys were rocking. As you can see in the video of the first song they played, Oliver sang, Noah was on the drums and Joel, by default, on the guitar. Watching Oliver "sing" and Noah beat on the drums got me laughing pretty good but it wasn't until later that I laughed harder than I have in quite a while. I got on the drums, Noah was playing the guitar and Joel decided to sing, "Eye of the Tiger." We were all doing really well (for beginners) and during the song there is a part that you get to riff on the vocals, basically a solo, and although I can not describe in words what Joel did, I could not stop laughing. That just set off a chain reaction, I laughed, Joel laughed, I laughed harder, Joel yells at me to knock it off because he can't sing while laughing, I laugh even harder. Seriously, I wish I had that part on video, I am laughing again just thinking about it. A fair bit of time passed before we had totally recovered from that song.

So who wants to come over and play?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Early Valentines Gift

The boys each received a box from Gammy yesterday. I, according to Noah and Oliver, TORTURED the two of them by making them wait until I was done with the phone call I was on before opening their gifts. THEN I made them wait even longer so that I could get my camera. I was not popular.
Can we open them yet?

Ready, set, go! They tore into them like mad men. It took Oliver a little bit longer than his more practiced brother so he was just getting through the clothes at this point. Noah has already pushed most of his clothes aside and has found the candy and other goodies inside.

Checking out all of the cool stuff, notebooks, markers, candy, clothes, etc. Oliver's favorite was the little calculator. It's been a calculator, a computer, a cell phone and some sort of space age weapon all in just under 24 hours.

This was just a sweet picture that I caught of my Noah Wayne.

Thank you Gammy!
We love you very much.
Love, Your Boys

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

You Are NOT Six Already!

Hi cousin Trevor, we made you a quick video for your birthday! Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Trevor! Happy birthday to you.

Your Aunt TT loves you very much! I can't believe that you are six! Take it back, say it isn't so! Call me tomorrow and tell me what you did for your birthday and what you got okay?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Where Did Your Voice Go?

Sunset Strip Beach

Su did this fun little post on her blog here and it's taken me quite a while but I finally took a couple minutes and did this...just for you, Su.

Here are the rules:
1. Put your iTunes on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer

1) IF SOMEONE SAYS "IS THIS OKAY" YOU SAY? Superbeast - Rob Zombie
2) WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY? Padre ricevi l'estremo addio - Verdi
3) WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL? Moonbeam - Men Without Hats
4) HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY? Intermission Is Over - Jonah
6) WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO? I Fall In Love Way Too Easy - Rusty McIntosh
7) WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU? Away In a Manger - Christmas Lullabies
8) WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN? Car Crash - Matt Nathanson
9) WHAT IS 2+2? Wedding March - Wagner
11) WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE? Trip Like I Do - The Crystal Method
12) WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY? Gloria in Excelsis Deo - Various Xmas Music
13) WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP? Toccata and Flugue In D Minor - Philadelphia Orchestra
15) WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING? I've Got A Gal in Kalamazoo - Glenn Miller (this cracked me up and by the way, we didn't dance at our wedding)
16) WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL? No One Loves Me Like You - Jars of Clay (that's an eerily appropriate song for a funeral)
17) WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST? I Will Follow You Into The Dark - Death Cab for Cutie
19) WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS? Lullabye - Concrete Blonde
20) WHAT'S THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN? Tears of Pearls - Savage Garden
21) HOW WILL YOU DIE? Never Let Me Down Again - Depeche Mode
22) WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU REGRET? Just Like Larry - Dispatch
23) WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH? Some Unholy War - Amy Winehouse (wow!)
24) WHAT MAKES YOU CRY? High - James Blunt
25) WILL YOU EVER GET MARRIED? Money for Nothing - Dire Straits (I am married already)
26) WHAT SCARES YOU THE MOST? Nil - Cardigans
27) DOES ANYONE LIKE YOU? (this is hilarious but true...I somehow didn't write down anything on list/writing was askew)
29) WHAT HURTS RIGHT NOW? Shallow - artist unknown
30) WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS NOTE AS? Sunset Strip Beach - Ere Le

Monday, February 02, 2009

Does Ben See His Shadow?

My little brother was born on Groundhogs Day a few years ago. He has grown into a great guy but I'm still his big sister. With that being said, I'd first like to say,


Then I'd like to say thanks for being such a great uncle to Noah and Oliver. They both adore you.

Finally, I'd like to share these with my blog readers...

I can not tell you how much this picture makes me laugh!
I did this to my brother a lot.

Always one to stand up for what is right, here he is protecting my sister from the bad guys.
Another picture that makes me laugh because it's funny and sweet.

And, even though I didn't know it at the time, this is why I joined our local Girl Scouts troop. I think he wears it well don't you?
(laughing and wiping tears from my eyes)
Can you imagine this would become a well respected hockey coach and teacher?

Love you Ben and again HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Love, Your Big Sister
(I am soooo gonna get it!)