Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Christmas to Remember

This Christmas season was different for us.  I really feel like we were able to enjoy the lead up to Christmas more than in years past.  I don't really know what we did differently, but somehow December was more relaxed and I loved it.  After two attempts to see Santa, and a 3 1/2 hour wait the second try, the big man found out what all the boys wanted.  This was an especially big year for Cameron as he insisted in knowing the truth about Jolly Old St. Nick.  Christmas Eve and today, Christmas Day we spent as just our family and it was really nice.  We spent a good amount of time reflecting with the kids about the birth of Jesus and watched some great classic movies.  This morning the kids were up at 6, but we were able to hold them off until 7 before they insisted on getting us out of bed.  I made the boys bean bag chairs they they loved- especially Baldwin who thought he had received three dog beds! All three got what they most wanted- an ipod touch 5 for Cameron, 3DS for Gavin, and a remote control car for Mason.  Of course we ate well with a buffet Christmas Eve and a surf and turf dinner today.  I hope the creme brulee I tried turns out yummy.  We are looking forward to celebrating again tomorrow at my mom and Jeff's with Jim and Judy and Kristin and her family.  So thankful for the magic of Christmas and three little boys that make this day even more special.  I hope the excitement never ends.

Double One

Hard to believe it, but I we have an eleven year old in the house!  Cameron turned 11 on Sunday and his birthday was pretty low key since he had already had his party last month.  Because it was on a Sunday, we went out to eat Saturday, at his favorite burger place- Five Guys.  Sunday he woke up to a TP'ed bedroom and pancakes for breakfast.   Roast for dinner was his request, along with a chocolate mint cake- yum!  Cameron has grown into a responsible, caring, helpful, and sweet young man.  We are so thankful to have him in our family!

Monday, December 9, 2013

The First Snow

Snowstorms in Virginia usually mean ice storms and yesterday was no exception.  The morning started with big, fluffy flakes but soon turned to sleet and freezing rain that coated everything in an icy blanket.  Luckily we took advantage before it got too wet and the kids were able to play some.  There were snowballs and the attempt at a snowman before realizing there really wasn't enough snow for that or sledding.  We still enjoyed watching it fall and cozied up by the fireplace drinking cocoa and listening to Christmas music.  School was cancelled today and more snow is expected tomorrow, we love snow days!

Sunday, December 8, 2013


We made another attempt to see the horses and hounds of Middleburg in their Christmas parade yesterday.  A couple of years ago we tried and missed them by just a few minutes and I was so disappointed!  This year we tried to allow ample time to get there, but it still took us forever and Jeremy dropped us off to find a parking space.  We crowded along the street and waited for them to come with Baldwin in tow.  We didn't have to wait long and we were able to see the horses and beautiful fox hounds they use for hunting.  I was amazed that all of those dogs stayed with the horses, especially with all of the distractions.  As quick as it came it was over and we found Jeremy.  Turns out where he parked the parade came right by and there was nobody there!  He got a better view than we did...  Next year we will know the secret!

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Thanksgiving in the Johnson home is always filled with family and fun!  My sister Lisa and her family came up Tuesday night and Wednesday we went into DC to the Holocaust museum.  I brought only Cameron and that was a wise choice.  It was some heavy history that we took in, and many disturbing images.  Thanksgiving was much lighter, and Kristin and her family came as well as mom and Jeff.  We missed Becky and are so excited that she will be here next year!  Every year I vow not to cook so much and every year it seems we only add to the many side dishes and desserts, but it is great to be together and especially for the cousins to bond.  They enjoyed decorating some gingerbread men with leftover Halloween candy!  We played a family favorite- characters, a tradition started at Granny's when we were little.  We also skyped with Becky and her family and I braved the crowds at Target with three nieces at 8 pm, snagging some great deals!  It was an exhausting day, but always well worth the effort.  We were sad to see everyone leave.  Until next year!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Great Wolf Lodge

Since Thanksgiving fell so late this year, we decided to hit Great Wolf a week early.  Not only that, we went on a Wednesday and Thursday and pulled the kids out of school.  Best idea yet!  The place was completely deserted and we got a free room upgrade with a loft and a second bathroom!  The water park had maybe 50 people in it at it fullest, and the kids never had to wait in line.  They were able to go over and over again, which really took a toll on our legs having to go up those stairs for the big slides!  We saw a real progression of skills on the wave rider, since they actually could just get right back on.  Cameron, Gavin and Jeremy were all able to get up on their knees, and Gavin spent hours just doing that.  Seriously, hours!  Cameron still loves the tornado, especially once it got dark outside, and we even got Gavin to try it.  He was petrified, but we coaxed him to ride it 3 times total.  Mason loved the big green slide that 4 people could ride together, and we were bummed that it broke our second day there.  We also visited the Yankee Candle Village which is a hidden gem!  I had heard about Santa being there but it was so much more!  They had a clock tower that put on a little show and a ceiling with the constellations on it where it snowed on us!  Lots of cute little shops that I look forward to coming back to another time when everyone isn't starving and wanting to get to dinner.  Jeremy and I were reminiscing all the past times we've visited and remembered that the first time I was pregnant with Mason- crazy!  I'm so glad it has been such an awaited tradition for the boys.  This year we went by ourselves and although it is great to go with friends or family, having the kids play with each other only was priceless and I think they created some lasting bonds.