Monday, November 26, 2012

For Your Entertainment

We have just recently discovered that Linnea is quite the little dancer and quite good at imitating! It's a bit scary how easy it is for her to shake her hips...yikes! We may be in trouble! :P 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

27 Weeks...

This one is for my sister's incessant requests to see a prego picture, and because I love her, I am willing to humble myself. :P Yes, I feel much too large for only being 27 weeks (plus a couple days) in this picture (I am now 28weeks and 2 days), but I guess that comes with the territory of feeling great during this pregnancy and actually enjoying the taste of icecream. :) I'm probably enjoying it a little too much! But I'm SO thankful I have felt so well in those regards! Here you go, sis!

Natalie's Walking Adventures!

Natalie has been walking for about 6 weeks now, so I'm a little late in keeping you all updated! Here are some videos from start to finish for you to enjoy!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cloth Diapers...Is it Worth it?

Lately I have been doing a bit of research on the cost effectiveness of cloth diapering. I admit, I should have done all this before I started over a year ago, but simply assumed I would save bundles by doing cloth instead of disposables. Don't worry... I am discovering that I am saving money, but am finding out some interesting things along the way!

I started to wonder how much I was really saving our family when one considers the electricity, gas, and detergent I use to launder my diapers. And since I have recently become an affiliate for the company I have bought all my cloth diapers from (which I still love! :)), I figure I shouldn't promote something if it isn't really going to save families that much money. After all, my main reason for doing cloth is to save our family $.

Well, I came across this really helpful article on The Simple Dollar yesterday. Basically, a gal has done all the hard work for me. :) I understand that she wrote her article a few years ago and prices of diapers and utilities vary and may have increased since then, but I think one gets a basic idea from all of her research.

Her conclusion? You don't really save any money in the first year due to the upfront cost of buying diapers, BUT for each year after that, you save at least 250$ (if you cd for future children, you would save around 700$ that first year, considering they go through so many diapers). Now obviously if you have been given diapers or don't buy a huge amount in the beginning, you will probably save in that first year. Her calculations were based on the cheapest disposable diapers she could find, bought at bulk price. Also, she estimated on the lower end of how many diaper changes a baby/toddler goes through. So one would probably save more $ than she estimated.

My conclusion? It may not be worth it for just one child, although, if you factor in selling your used diapers when you are finished, then you could probably save a good chunk of $. But for more than one child, I think it is totally worth it. And say you cloth diaper 3 children... I would estimate that you would save AT LEAST 2000$ (I think this is a seriously low estimation...I would imagine it may actually be closer to 3,000$), if not quite a bit more! And this is if you buy cheap, store brand diapers in bulk. For those moms that buy pampers, huggies, or all-natural diapers, you would save quite a bit more!

(Disclaimer- I am not saying that one is wiser for using cloth diapers...not AT ALL! I think we all chose to save money in different ways. And for different seasons in life, time is more valuable than saving money!)

So, I think after my research, I was encouraged that I am indeed saving money, but only if I stick with it! :) And now I feel like I can whole-heartedly endorse the cloth diapers I use! ;) Just Simply Baby diapers are so convenient and easy to take care of, and I just love all the patterns and the soft minky ones. Aaron and I still comment on how cute Natalie is in her big bubble butt diapers, and she has worn them for over a year now. :P I have looked at a lot of different pocket diapers out there, and although I haven't tried any other ones (haven't needed or wanted to), Just Simply Baby has one of the cheapest prices (actually...with all the sales and promotions they have, as well as the option to buy "packages" of diapers, they probably are THE cheapest!), especially for their high quality and fantastic customer service!

So that is my "two cents", and I hope it is somewhat helpful to anyone considering cloth diapering. And if you ARE considering cloth diapering, PLEASE ask me any questions and go check out JustSimplyBaby,com. You can find out all about their diapers and read many customer reviews on their website.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Do You Not Know? Have You Not Heard?

"Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutible.
He gives strength to the weary,
 And to him who lacks might He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary."

~Isaiah 40:28-31~

How could these verses not encourage a weary and tired person? May every day be a new day to wait patiently on the Lord as we rest upon Him our biggest and littlest needs and burdens. He surely will carry us through, for though we are weak, He is so strong. 

May He shine strongest when we are the weakest!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Everyday Question of Motherhood

Doesn't it amaze you when the Lord so lovingly and clearly encourages you? After a bit of tears from all the girls in this family over a very rough morning filled with bad attitudes, a playdate gone awry (because of those bad attitudes), my sinful responses, and me feeling like a failure of a mom and friend, I knew the Word was the only place to go. The Lord so graciously lead me to read 2 Corinthians 4 and 5 this afternoon, in which I was reminded of the power of the cross in my life and the ramifications of the great sacrifice Jesus paid on my behalf. 

After a time of praying, confessing,  and asking God to restore my joy in Him (which I so easily lost in the span of one morning), I decided to put off the dishes for just a few more minutes and find a post to read on a biblical blog. So I randomly clicked on the link to "The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood", which I don't regularly read, and shouldn't have been surprised to read a post tailored for me (well...she doesn't know this, of course :)) by Christine Hoover, titled "The Everyday Question of Motherhood". She addresses just about every sinful thought I had this morning and points mother's hearts to the importance of our everyday task! AND she ends her post with two passages from 2 Cor. 4 & 5!

It was so good that I had to "run over here" and repost it on my blog. Wether you are a weary mom right now or not, I know this will encourage your heart and remind you of what God has called us to and the incredible importance it holds.

The Everyday Question of Motherhood

Posted on September 7, 2012 by jrobinson
by Christine Hoover

As a mother, there is a constant, uncomfortable battle that rages inside of me. It is not the big or dramatic: Will I raise my children to love God? Will I train them to obey Him? Do my children belong to Him?

The constant battle of motherhood is more subtle, more everyday, more hideable. At the center is one question: Will I sacrifice? Or as Oswald Chambers poses in My Utmost for His Highest: “[Am I] willing to spend and be spent; not seeking to be ministered unto, but to minister?”

The Everyday Question isn’t answered one time, with the birth of a child, with the planning of school, or with the decision to discipline. This question — Will I sacrifice? — is answered everyday.

It’s answered when a child wakes early with a need, interrupting my quiet hour alone with the Lord.

It’s answered when a sick child keeps me from worship and adult interaction at church on Sunday mornings.

It’s answered when I am emotionally spent, but a child’s behavior requires my patient, purposeful response.

It’s answered almost every moment of the potty training process.

It’s answered as I systematically teach my special-needs son how to interact with others.

In motherhood, the Everyday Question is answered every time a child’s concern or need must come before my own, which is most of the time.

Too often, I attend to necessary tasks — leaving the stove to help with pant buttons, putting down the phone to search for a beloved toy, excusing myself from a conversation at church to take tired children home for a nap — while my heart grumbles. If I just had one moment to complete a task or have an adult conversation without an interruption.

The Everyday Question, however, asks not just about what I do but also about my attitude: Will I joyfully pour out my life as a fragrant offering before the Lord for the benefit of my children? Will I serve my children out of obligation and duty or will I serve like I’m serving God Himself? Will I die to myself so that I might live to God in the specific calling He has given me as a mom?

The Everyday Question must be answered everyday.

Because motherhood is not so much the big, dramatic acts of sacrifice, but the little, everyday, unseen ones.

Because we can have a clean house and obedient children and not sacrifice.

Because we are so easily deceived to think we can live for ourselves and be faithful to God in our ministry as moms.

Jesus said that those who live for themselves will actually have an unfulfilling life, but those who lose for their lives for His sake will really experience life. As parents, our self-death for Christ’s sake not only produces fruit in our own hearts, but produces fruit in the hearts of our children, fruit that grows by the power of God. Let us, then, choose to joyfully give of ourselves for our children.


“For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal bodies.” (2 Corinthians 4:11)

“For the love of Christ compels us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died, and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” (2 Corinthians 5:14–15)

And now those dishes are definitely needing my attention. :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Birthday Pictures!

I feel like my slogan is often "better late than never." But at least it is true! :) Here are some pictures capturing the fun memories from the girls' special birthday party!

Lily, Linnea and Adeline

Pizza! One of Natalie's favorites.

"That was yummy!"

Bubble time!

"Wow!"...Linnea thinks bubbles are cool! :)

Sporting the Dora sunglasses Daddy picked out.

Yes...Dora's face is a little scary. :P

Candy!...We had to rip Dora's head off. Not even Daddy could hit it hard enough to get the candy out.

We miss Aunt Kimiko's terrific cakes, but I think I am slowly learning.

The kids are all wet because we got a really neat gift for the girls' birthday. RAIN!! A 48 hour rain began towards the end of their party, and the kids all ran in it and had a blast! It was the first real rain we had had in like 2 months!

We are thankful for the many friends Linnea is blessed with here! She talks often of her friends and loved ones that are "too far away" (she says that a lot!) to go visit regularly, but God has brought her many special friends here, as well! And we are thankful for the friendships of their mommies and daddies, too! :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Wedding Pictures!

Here are the wedding pictures! Exactly one month late to the day, so Happy 1 Month Anniversary Paul and Sarah! :) The wedding was such a special time, and I'm so thankful for the pictures to help us remember! Thank you Kimiko, for all of these ones!

Best Buds....

Loving playing with Grandma 


 The wedding site was beautiful!

"Linnea, being a flower girl is serious stuff. Don't worry, I will show you how to do it...I learned from YouTube."
 Grammy and Grandpa with ALL of their Great Grandchildren....SO special!

 I don't know if you can quite tell in this pic, but I lost it as soon as I saw my big brother up there, about the get married. I was SO overjoyed!!

 The most adorable flower girls....ever. Who btw forgot to drop any flower petals. (Apparently Hannah's YouTube videos left that part out! ;) They were on a mission to get to the front!

 My most precious sister. I think I will wear heals around her more often. ;)

 High fives with cousin Samuel

 Natalie preferred chewing on the kazoo over blowing into it to send Paul and Sarah off.

 All the Parker cousins...

 Had to post a picture of the most beautiful woman I know in my life (inside and out!) escorted by my handsome brother!

 God is SO good....Praise the Lord for His beautiful gift of marriage to Paul and Sarah. May they forever remember what it represents...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Three Months of Johnson Life!

I know I have been doing a poor job of making appearances on my blog, so I figured maybe the best thing to do is to summarize the last three months of the Johnson's life. I will try to be brief...if that's even possible with me. :)

After recovering from Natalie's hospital stay, we enjoyed a gorgeous March with very warm weather! All of our neighbors said it had never been that warm in March for as long as they could remember. We began to enjoy the responsibilities of taking care of our yard and home, which is SO fun! We have been enjoying mowing the lawn, laying mulch, watching our flowers grow, and watching the many bunnies, squirrels, and birds (many cardinals) that grace our yard each day! It is SO neat to enjoy God's creation right in our back yard. 

A couple days after coming home from the hospital...happy to be together! :)

Still refusing baby food at this point...but LOVING table food, especially meatless drumsticks.

This tree is on the corner of our street and was beautiful in March!
We were able to go to the zoo for the first time (and many more to come, hopefully, as we were given season passes from a dear friend!), and had a blast!

I can't quite remember if this was in April or March, but I think it was April. :) mom had a long layover at our airport, so the girls and I were able to have a long lunch with her, which was so fun! Kansas City is a "layover" type airport, so if any of you are ever "stopping by" for a long time, let us know! The girls really enjoyed seeing Grandma, even though it was kind of a mean teaser. Easter seemed to come quickly this year and we loved our first Good Friday and Easter service at MRBC. It was such a joy to celebrate the glorious gospel with our new church family. After church, we enjoyed an Easter brunch at the Ochs' (pronounced Oaks) home. Dr. Oaks is an elder at our church, and his wife, Patty, lead the ladies' Bible study that I attended this spring. They live in a beautiful home out in the country and spoiled our girls' with gifts and eggs full of treasures for Easter. Linnea had a blast looking for eggs along with their grandchildren...somehow she ended up with the most eggs (thanks to MUCH help from the oldest grandchild, Ella). She couldn't have been more thrilled! :)

Lots of walks in the beautiful weather.

We decided to teach her young. :)


Enjoying the torture or tickling!

Patty Ochs made these for the girls before Easter. Aren't they cute?

Easter Fun! (Linnea tries not to smile in pictures now)

And of course, when we do get them to smile, they are not looking. :P

Bath time!

Still our fashionista.... :)

Playgroup turned into everyone joining the babies on the blanket! 

Helping me at Trader Joes. I do believe this girl is going to be vertically challenged like me. She couldn't see very well. :)

 Natalie LOVES the swing! She fell asleep in one on Sunday!

Right after Easter, Aaron attended Together for the Gospel with the two other pastors at our church. Praise the Lord, there was no hospital emergency that demanded he come home, so he was able to enjoy bonding with Rick and Bob and sit under some great teaching and encouragement from the Word! Shortly after coming home from that, Aaron then got to explore a little more of the Midwest by going to an overnight conference with the guys in St. Louis Missouri. They went to a famous BBQ place there, which only confirmed for Aaron that Kansas City truly does have the best BBQ. I wholeheartedly agree (not that I have experienced much else)...all I know is that the BBQ is goo-oood here! :) The girl's and I prefer to have Aaron home ;), but I'm thankful for these times, as they truly have been good for building friendships with the men he works along side of, which is so crucial to their ministry together! 

The end of April brought on what I would call a new season in our life. The number of children has doubled in our home for about 20 hrs. a week in our home! A need was shared at church and the Lord burdened my heart to meet that need (with Aaron's full support). A gentlemen in our church suddenly became a single daddy when his wife left him and his two little ones. His prayer was that someone in the church could help watch his children, instead of putting them in daycare. Sam will be 4 next month, and Adah, his little sister, will be 2 next month. Aaron and I prayed about it, and as long as I could keep my family and home a priority, we felt that I could meet that need. The Lord has already used these children to work in my life in amazing, sanctifying ways, and Aaron and I are both so grateful for this opportunity to serve Scott (pray for him, please!) and his kids. (I am not doing it for free, in case you were wondering, so the extra little bit of money is an answer to some other prayers as well!) Linnea LOVES having playmates, and it most certainly has presented MANY teaching opportunities for her, as she learns what it means to obey, even when others are not, and what it means to regard others as more important than herself (well, she will probably be learning this one for the rest of her life!) :)

Block time with Sam and Adah

Coloring time...yes, we do lots of "times" (book time, room time, etc. It helps keeps life sane! :))

This month has gone by incredibly fast!! We spent this last weekend in Seattle for my brother Paul's wedding, and had such a wonderful time! Everything took place in downtown Seattle, so we didn't even bring the girls car seats! We took trains, buses and stroller everywhere we went, which honestly was so fun! I love the fact that we had to exercise to get anywhere. :) We were able to rent an apartment vacation rental with James and Kimiko (and Hannah, too!!:)), and due to a last minute change on the rental company's part, we were moved to an apartment with a gorgeous view that should have cost us twice as much! What a sweet little gift from the Lord it was! We greatly enjoyed our time with the entire Parker family and are so excited to welcome Sarah to the family! Their wedding was truly a God-glorifying wedding with an incredible message from their pastor. Jesus definitely shined brightly that day, which I know was their prayer. And if I may say so myself, the two flower girls were some of the cutest I have ever seen. ;)
Just had to post this one! 
**I will post some wedding pictures in a seperate post, as there are many I want to post)**

We came home from the trip more tired than when we left (that is just how weddings are...but so worth it!), so we recovered this week and temporarily moved into the Holland home yesterday for 13 days. Rick and Kim, along with two of the other elder's and their wives are went overseas to the German Shepherd's Conference (, it is not for dogs) as well as Russia for another conference and a few other places in Europe. We get the privilege of watching their three older boys. They would be appalled if I said babysitting them. In fact, I guess "watching" them isn't appropriate either :)...really we are feeding them, driving them around, and hopefully having some fun with them!

Well there you have it! There are MANY beautiful lessons the Lord is teaching me in between the lines of what I wrote, so if time allows, I really do desire to blog more and actually keep up, so that I can write more in depth! So hopefully next time I won't have to give a 3 month summary! :P I guess we will have to wait and see! There are certainly no promises, as blogging simply can't be one of my priorities right now...not in this season of my life with all these little munchkins running now (and apparently now teenagers!)