Thursday, December 30, 2010

The temple at Christmas

Last night we took the kiddos to see the temple lights. It's been tradition to do this with the fam before Christmas but this month has been so filled with other stuff that we simply could not fit it in before now. As always, the lights do not disappoint and I am so glad we made the effort to still go, even though Christmas has passed. It must've been fate that we went this very night because as we were in the visitors center I recognized a face that I haven't seen for more than 13 years. Jesse Chandler, a good friend from high school and the person responsible for introducing me to the Mormon church in the first place was there with his family, visiting from Connecticut. What are the chances? I got the biggest hug from him and so many memories came flooding back. I can't believe we haven't kept in touch better, but sometimes that's just how life is. It was pretty surreal introducing him to my family and telling him that Cameron would be getting baptized in January. My life may have turned out very differently had I not met him when I did. I hope he knows how truly grateful I am for his influence on my life. It sure was awesome seeing him again.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cameron from 7 to 8 years old

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Festivities

We had a wonderful Christmas. It was almost a deja vu of last year which was perfect. My mom and Jeff came over Christmas Eve for our buffet and reading the Christmas Story and Twas The Night Before Christmas. New pj's before bed, milk and cookies and carrots set out, and then Santa came! Cameron and Gavin woke up at about 6:15 and went downstairs to check out the goods. Jeremy shooed them back up to bed while we got up and ready for the madness. Once the gifts were unwrapped we had a hard core play day and then a turkey dinner. It was topped off by driving around to see the lights and watching the classic A Christmas Story before bed. I couldn't have written the day any better. I just love Christmas and I'm always so sad to see it end. Our kids are all at the perfect age to watch the magic happen. Family is the best. Merry Christmas!

Santa came!
The kids got a dress up trunk filled with costumes. It was a big hit!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Yesterday was a BIG day. Yesterday my first baby turned eight years old. I wonder how did that happen so quickly? For our family, eight is a big number. In our church when you turn eight you reach the age of accountability and get baptized. Cameron will be baptized next month, and he is so excited for that. But yesterday was all about birthday business and Cameron was all about that. In fact, he came into our room three times the night before his birthday to see if it was time to open his gifts. He had a half day at school and loved that he was the center of attention. My mom took in cake pops the day before when they all sang Happy Birthday and yesterday he also got his name announced on the morning announcements and a special birthday pencil and sticker. Cameron also got to do something for the first time, which was to have a sleepover with his best friend, Austin. We went to Cracker Barrel for dinner with Austin, Grandma and Jeff and then came back for a lego cake and more presents! The boys stayed up late playing the new Wii games Cameron received and then they were so good and went right to bed when I told them it was time. All morning they have been putting legos together and having loads of fun. This whole sleepover business was pretty painless, not like the horror stories I've heard. And we have celebrated another milestone in the Johnson family, a milestone that makes me misty-eyed. I'm not ready for my boy to grow up, yet it's still happening right before my eyes. I am so proud of who he is becoming, he is my sweet boy that still loves to cuddle and can make your heart melt with that dimple of his. How did I get so lucky?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gavin's Christmas Program

This post is a little late, but we have been busy, busy getting ready for Christmas. Gavin had his preschool Christmas program last Friday. He had three speaking parts, my favorite of which was his part in the Twas The Night Before Christmas. He had to say, "A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread." He had to wink after that first bit and you could see him practicing winking all the way up to the microphone. He was also the star of Bethlehem and we got to watch him dance and sing his little heart out. He did great and we were oh so proud of him!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Jolly Old St. Nick

Tonight I took the kids to see Kriss Kringle at Merrifield Garden Center. Last year Robyn told me about this hidden gem of a Santa and so we had to go back to see him this year! We went with the Benson's and Toler's and we were the last people in line so Santa took an extra long time to talk to each child. His hours were only supposed to be until 8, but we didn't leave there until 9! This guy is the best, he seems to genuinely care about each child and asks them all about school, how they're treating their siblings, and how good they're being for their parents. He even made sure to mention that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus. Unlike the grumpy Fair Oaks Santa, this one was really interested in what my kids had to say. And you could take your own pictures or pay $3 for them to take one. All the money that they get goes to a local food bank. No more second rate Santas that you have to wait for hours in line to see, we're going to Merrifield's from now on!
Mason asked for a candy and a puzzle
Gavin wants an Ironman costume
Cameron would like a Batman Lego Wii game
Santa also told us that chocolate chip cookies are his favorite and to be sure to leave some out for him! Picky, picky!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Family Pictures

It was way back in October that my friend Leilani took these pictures for us. I was waiting until we mailed out our Christmas cards to post them. I think they turned out fantastic. Which is your favorite?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Middleburg Christmas Parade

We tried something new this Christmas season. We've been to the Manassas Christmas parade before but never to the Middleburg one, which begins with a big parade of fox hunting horses and hounds like this:That is not my picture. I wish I had a picture to show you of this beginning to the parade, but because of the huge crowds of people going to the parade, we were late and when Cameron, Gavin, and I jumped out so Jeremy could find a place to park, the three of us ran to the parade route just in time to see the tail end of about four of the horses as they made their exit. I was majorly bummed, but hoped the rest of the parade would be worth it. As we tried to find Jeremy and Mason, we had to walk all the way to the other end of the parade route and Gavin was freaking out because no one was throwing candy yet. The parade was pretty good. There were firetrucks and tractors and several dog groups (Middleburg is really into dogs) and some pretty good floats and bands, but there were also A LOT of people. Combine that with Jeremy's demophobia (fear of crowds) and we were out of there as soon as Santa made his appearance. Sometimes things just don't work out as planned and that was the lesson of the day. The kids still had a good time- especially since they did get a bunch of candy, but I don't think Jeremy will be up for going again next year which it too bad- I really wanted to see the horses and hounds!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Great Wolf

The last time we were at Great Wolf Lodge was almost three years ago when I was big and pregnant with Mason. The kids still talk about how much fun they had on that trip and even Gavin remembered certain things like the big bucket that dumps water every few minutes. We haven't been back until now because I just couldn't fathom how two parents could watch three little kids that wanted to go in different directions. Now that Mason is older, we decided to give it a try. This was part of Gavin and Cameron's birthday presents this year instead of having a big party. Oh my gosh, it couldn't have been any more fun! We went non-stop for two days at their indoor waterpark. Mason loved the little slides and the wave pool, and warming his feet in the kiddie hot tub. Gavin loved the lazy river and the medium sized slides the first day until we bribed him to go on the big slides and then that was all he wanted to do! Cameron loved all the slides and the boogie boarding. Jeremy and I just loved the gigantic smiles on the kids faces the whole time. I think this might just become an annual tradition for our family now that the kids are bigger and can do more. I'm ready to go again tomorrow!

Cameron on the boogie board
Gavin on the boogie board- this kid actually had some great moves even Jeremy and I couldn't do!

Wiped out after a long day.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Our Nation's Capitol

While Lisa and her family were with us, we went downtown to see some monuments and museums, and to tour the Capitol. We ended up at the Lincoln Memorial and the American History Museum and also Union Station.. I saw some things I hadn't seen in DC before like the ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz and C3PO and the newly preserved American flag that inspired the National Anthem. We also went on a tour of the Capitol which I had not done since I was in school where you now wear these headphones and follow a guide around. It was great to visit all of these neat places, but it was even better just spending time with the Allens and doing this with them. I'm so glad they made the trip up to see us.

That night, we went to do our annual drive through the Bull Run Festival of lights. Jeremy's trusty copper truck died this year but we sure were happy to be able to fit into Lisa and Jimmy's 12 passenger van!