Category Archives: Family Stuff

General-interest stuff about our family


So I walk in the door tonight about 5:30 after a long day. The doorbell rings. It is our neighbor with a homemade pizza for us. Surprise!

Then, I check the mail and we received a package of Halloween crafts from my mom for the kids.

Dinner and a Family Home Evening activity all on the same day! Made my day!

What are the chances of a repeat tomorrow?

Rolling Along – OR – September in a Nutshell

Life is somewhat returning to normal around the Johnson household. Energy and vitality (as much as is possible during pregnancy) have slowly been replacing the abyss of morning sickness; a swelling belly, the tell-tale sign of 15 weeks gestation, replacing a once trim (on a relative scale) waistline.

Homeschool resumed last week with surprisingly excellent results. I was prepared for pandemonium and mutiny at the kitchen table after weeks of not having the strength to follow through with simple discipline and household chores, but to my surprise (utter amazement) Sydney and Isaac seemed ready to get back to work and seemed eager to return to a schedule somewhat resembling normalcy.

Sydney turned 10-years-old on Labor Day and we enjoyed teriyaki chicken and rice, her favorite meal, for dinner, followed by Apple Dorset cake and ice cream for dessert. For her birthday she received the last book in the Percy Jackson series which she quickly read in a couple of days, and Inkdeath, the final book in the Inkheart trilogy. This year she is in fifth grade and enjoying subjects such as math, English, writing, biology, Latin, and history. If you ask Sydney what her favorite subject is there you will receive no hesitation in her reply: History. Ancient history to be more exact. This year’s studies include a timespan from approximately 5000 B.C. to A.D. 400. Sydney has always been very interested in Ancient Egypt and Greek and Roman mythology, often reading non-fiction books that she has chosen at the library on these subjects.

Isaac is six years old and enjoying first grade. This year he is continuing his study of math, handwriting, phonics, and reading, with additional new subjects including grammar, biology and history. On the first day of school he waited – and not very patiently – for his first history lesson. We read about nomads before the first civilizations in Mesopotamia. As part of his assignment he got to make his own cave painting (paint on a torn paper bag). He painted a very abstract fox, a dubious bow and arrow, and a blue square-shaped tent on his very lifelike cave wall that is now on display as part of a history exhibit on our refrigerator.

Peter goes to work and comes home. It’s a very predictable pattern that works well for our family. His current job includes very little long-distance travel, and with the busy summer season almost over he be hanging around home even more. He was very fortunate to tag along with a seasoned hunter from our ward on a moose hunt; this hunt produced no meat; the next hunt he went on produced no meat. The only “bacon” he has come home with was from a day-trip on an ATV to a site that his office maintains. Apparently he ran over the end of a rabbit while in the ATV and the meat was salvageable, so we have some rabbit meat in our deep freeze waiting to be made into stew when I can stand to eat meat again on a regular basis (the first few weeks of pregnancy always include a strong aversion to meat for me). However, he is not deterred from his un-success and plans to go bear hunting this next spring.

As for me I am just trying to keep up with the house, homeschooling, the kids, a husband, the laundry, and sleep. So far I think the laundry is winning. I don’t have a chance – or clean underwear – in this race. I have stopped taking one of my medications that turns me into a big dope and am now only taking one medication that makes me a little dope and when I can summon up enough courage to stop taking that then I will do that. I long to to sit and read a book for a LONG time without tuning out every two minutes because of my dopiness. Now if I could just have a few green olives life would be perfect…

Holy Cow

After getting to Alaska and settling in we found out that we are expecting a baby! We have been hoping for a number of years (more than five) to welcome a new bundle of joy into our home and the time has finally come! This was a HUGE surprise after being told years ago that the it would be “highly unlikely” that we would ever have another baby.

Morning sickness has been quite a beast – I don’t care to talk much about it, but it does seem to be easing into a manageable routine.

Baby Johnson #3 is due March 23, 2011. Both Sydney and Isaac were born five weeks early but we are hoping this one will bake a little longer (especially because there is no NICU in the area – the closest one is in Anchorage about 6-8 hours away). Right now I am almost 12 weeks along.

From Florida to Utah

While trekking across the country we stayed at KAO camp sites in their Kabins. With kids this was much more fun than being stuck in a hotel room. In the mornings they were able to get outside, walk the dog, play around, and help clean up!

Super-Smokers restaurant in St. Louis Missouri. Supposedly a national champion barbeque place, and although I thought it was pretty good, I’ve had other good BBQ other places.

I love the modern and stream-lined menu above.

The KOA in St. Louis, Missouri had hills! My kids have not had a single hill to ride their bikes and scooters on in the last three years. What a thrill!

Independence, Missouri
Above is a picture of the Community of Christ (formerly the RLDS church) temple. Weird.

Peter took these pictures from our camp site in Salina, Kansas. He’s getting pretty good!

Entering Utah!!!

This picture is so Isaac!

Stay tuned for my next instalment of pictures titled “Utah Vacation…”

Back in the Swing of Things

Right now we are in the middle of homeschool – the first real day since getting to Alaska. Sydney is practicing the piano (sort of) and Isaac is working on a phonics assignment (not really – I knew it would be difficult with him today).

All of our stuff was delivered fine – nothing missing! Both pianos suffered some damage though. The upright piano now has a cracked leg (we’ve had one fixed before) and the grand has a chip off the front (very fixable). My nice laminated National Geographic maps of the United States and the world were crumpled in the bottom of a box. Nice. Good thing I can just fill out the insurance paperwork and get these things taken care of (hopefully – we’ve never had to go through that process before).

I need to take an evening and transfer pictures from the camera to the computer and then take some pictures of our new house so I can post them here. We are loving this house! The basement is the most wonderful addition; everything that seems a little ghetto or is just in the way any where else goes down to the basement! There are three parks within 100 yards of our house and the kids are old enough now that I can just send them to play. What a blessing this was while unpacking our belongings all last week.

There are two other families in our cul-de-sac that are in our ward. One right next door to us and the other right across the street from us. The family across the street has twin girls Sydney’s age (and one of them is named Sydney!). They have been getting along famously since the day we moved in. Isaac has also made a friend in the ward that lives close by. Our street is bustling with kids and there are often other children playing at the parks. I think the kids are in heaven here. There are also two other families on the street that homeschool their kids. It’s nice to know I won’t just be a freak of nature around here…

It’s just beautiful here folks. I am so happy to be here and see some REAL trees (palm trees lose their charm after a couple of weeks). On nice clear days we can see all the way down to Mount Denali (at least this is what Peter claims) – the tallest mountain in North America.

For now we just have some food storage shelves and the garage to take care of so we will be finally and officially moved in!