Thursday, March 31, 2011

Piano Preview

This week we got a FREE piano off of craigslist! It's in pretty good shape, especially considering it was made in 1943. I love it and I can't wait for Cameron to start taking lessons but even that will have to wait until I am done making a few alterations. See that tarp on the floor? That's a clue! Stay tuned for the big reveal!

Monday, March 21, 2011

72 hour kits

All of the turmoil in Japan has caused me to think about how our family would be prepared in an emergency. Our church and now FEMA encourages having a 72 hour kit with supplies to last your family for three days. I've been adding and tweaking ours for years and I pulled it all out again last week to reassess. Here is a list of things in ours:

Food (menu here) and plates and utensils
propane stove
first aid kit
flashlights (just added two hand crank ones that don't require batteries) and glow sticks
can openers
utility knives
matches and lighters
duct tape
emergency heat blanket
water and water purification tablets
battery operated radio
hygiene items
small games
photocopies of important documents (birth certificates, SS cards, etc)

There are still things I need to add like clothing for each of us, cash, and dust masks but it makes me feel better to know we are well on our way. On our local news they tested people to see how quickly they could gather items on a list in case they needed to leave their home quickly and all the people failed miserably. I know we would do just fine and that gives me peace of mind. If you'd like a list of items for a kit of your own FEMA and the Red Cross have great ones to use as resources.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The O'Johnsons

Two years ago, this mom decided to take St. Patrick's Day to the next level of fun for the three little leprechauns living under our roof and the tradition stuck. Last night we made and set a new leprechaun trap to try to catch the little green guy and find out where he has hidden his pot of gold. We colored a box to look like a rainbow and propped it up with a pencil that had a shiny bell attached. Theoretically, the leprechaun would try to grab the shiny bell and pull the box down on top of him. For some reason our traps never work, but it's ok, because the leprechaun ends up leaving us some of his treasure during his escape. This year he left footprints all over the carpet and green pee in the toilets, but he also left some shiny candies and $1 gold coins! In anticipation of what the morning would bring, two little rugrats woke up at 4:30 to check out the goods. Mama leprechaun was not happy!

Some other ways we celebrated our Irish holiday included eating Lucky Charms for breakfast, taking mint brownies into the teachers at school and Cameron and I made these necklaces for his classmates that each had a genuine 4 leaf clover (3 leaf clover plus 1 leaf added) preserved under clear contact paper. We ate corned beef and swiss sandwiches for dinner with cole slaw and "lime ale" (lime sherbet and ginger ale). We may not be Irish but a bit o' the green blood runs through our veins!

Monday, March 7, 2011


What can I say about this boy? I feel like sometimes I portray him as being this crazy, out of control child and that is not how I want to remember him. Yes, he can be pretty hot headed, but he is also equally a snuggly, happy little guy. Yesterday at church I was pulled out of my meeting for this kid. Apparently, they were spotlighting him in Primary and he broke down in tears because their information sheet that we had filled out probably a year ago said that he wanted to be a tanker truck man when he grows up. This is no longer the case, now he wants to be a dentist and this misinformation set him into a drippy, sad little mess. All he wanted to do was sit in my lap and cuddle for a minute and then he was fine. The secret is that I really liked that he needed me to make it all better. Now that he is five, he doesn't need his mommy quite as much. Gavin still takes an afternoon nap which is awesome for me because I have two nappers at the same time and also good for him because he wakes up refreshed and joyful for the rest of the day. I guess we will have to phase this out before kindergarten but as of now I am in no rush. Gavin is my best eater. He often picks fruits and veggies to eat before anything else and he often asks for seconds of salad or for some carrots as an afternoon snack. He also likes to eat the peel on his orange and the core of his apple and our protests that they are yucky make him want to eat them even more. He loves to be scratched on his back and arms and has eczema that keeps him scratching at his bottom all the time. Gavin has great hair. It's never out of place when he wakes up and doesn't need to be cut as often as the other boys because it grows slower and better. He looks like a Johnson, that's for sure and our joke is that he gets his looks from his dad and his personality from his mom... The strong will in the both of us causes us to butt heads the most. But the heart in this boy is pure gold and he can be so compassionate and fragile despite the rough exterior. I love to spend time with just him since this seldom happens with one older brother and one younger. But those are the times when I see who he really is without the competitiveness that can seep through at home. I know I'm not supposed to say this, but I really think Gavin is my cutest, his big brown eyes melt my heart for sure and we love all of him to bits!