As I remember writing a few posts ago... my baby is so obviously NOT a baby anymore.  She is officially not just big enough, but bigger then she needs to be to trade in the car seat for a booster!  Are you kidding me!?  No, I’m not.  I tried so hard to deny this.  Bryan, Avery and I were at Costco and I showed him the great deal that this seat was there, but then quickly said she wasn’t ready for it.  Then he quickly pointed out that she was more then ready.  He also told Avery to tell me,

“Mom, please let me grow up.” 

And she did tell me... those.exact.words.

Clearly if I had the trick in my pocket to prevent the growing up thing,

I would have used it already.

We went to a friend’s 1st birthday party.

It was at The Great Park in Irvine.  We hadn’t been there yet.

It is a pretty cool place.  Avery LOVED the carousel that you can ride

for free as many times as you wish.  She wished to ride it infinity...

and I let her wish come true four times.  Period.  Not four times infinity.

lots of rocks to climb

and snakes to run from or catch... depending on which of my kids you were

cute friends to pose with

One thing I enjoy about being “crafty” is giving handmade gifts.

Especially for girl birthdays.

I made the little girl’s initial on a shirt by taking a long strip of tulle lace and randomly folding it into

a bit of a zig-zag overlapping ruffle.  Then I just sewed down the center using a zig-zag stitch.

Pretty, huh?

My favorite part about this crown

was it’s a custom order for a woman’s 65th birthday!

She wanted the number 65 on the front and then decided not to have the

number so she could wear it for other occasions!! 

Love that.

I also went to a baby shower... for a little girl.

A little girl who has a big brother, like my little girl.

A little girl who will share a room with her big brother, like my little girl.

I found out that the “theme” for the nursery part of the room was going to be owls... but keeping it as unisex as possible.  I know how that works... trying to keep the shared room even.

I saw this owl fabric and knew I wanted to make ruffled burp cloths with it.

Which I did... but didn’t photograph.

Then I thought how cute it would be in a garland for the nursery too!

I made my final few Valentine Garlands this past week.

I am super excited about the ideas for St. Patty’s and Easter Garlands that I have.

I should be showing some sneak peeks soon.

I am more then welcoming to any custom garland ideas anyone may have...

like the cute owl one... I can seriously work any theme into a garland.

The weekend of parties also had a 5 year old birthday party.

But this party did not have pretend snakes in pretend caves.

This party had REAL snakes...

and frogs, lizards, tortoises and oh so much more!

If you wanted to hold it you put out your two hands.

If you only wanted to touch it you held out a hand with fingers.

If you wanted nothing to do with it you crossed your arms.

My kids... held out two hands to everything! 

Even for the ones they weren’t allowed to hold or touch.

Not sure where the reptile braveness came from... I was cringing the whole time.

Are you kidding me!?!?!

That is what I was saying out loud... like the whole time!

Although my kids enjoyed this party very much, I am so happy relieved

Grant asked for a bowling party for his soon arriving 7th birthday!


I came home from this birthday party wanting a giant tortoise.

I didn’t get a great picture of it... the birthday boy rode him!!

The guy running the party told us how they make GREAT pets and that they get along well with dogs.  That you can get them for FREE because they live so long that it is easy to find them to adopt.  They live so long they out live their families... so they eventually need a new family.  They just roam the grass.  Eat the grass, poop back out the grass.  That’s it.  They don’t bite and they don’t cary diseases, which the guy said turtles do both of those things.  I came home and told Bryan all about it... he wasn’t real into the idea.

The day after the reptile party we were at a friend’s house... they had a bird.

JUST LIKE the one I had as a child.  Its name was Starbird.  Such a rad bird.

Our friend’s bird was pretty cool too.  Made me want one again.

Came home and showed Bryan the cute pictures of Avery with the bird.

He wasn’t into getting a bird either.

His exact words were, “What’s wrong with the way our family is!?”

Yikes... good thing I didn’t ask for a baby! HaHaHa.

Although, maybe if I ask for a baby he will let me have a tortoise AND a bird!

Avery invites me to lots of tea parties while Grant is at school. 

We drink pretend tea, eat pretend cake and talk about pretend girl stuff.

The MOPS gals enjoyed the I Love You Because... craft.

I am hoping there are many husbands out there feeling a little more loved now.

Grant’s 2nd quarter of 1st grade came to an end.

With that came the 2nd quarter awards assembly.

With that came another award for our oh-so studious man.

Bike rides are a good alternative on the afternoons that Grant

wants to play baseball with Bryan... but Bryan is working.

Grant is so far ahead of us that there is no chance of photographing him!

The kids and I made the trip to Padres territory like I had mentioned we needed to.  Grant is on the Padres little league team and we needed fan gear.  Obviously our local stores only have Angels and Dodgers.  So... we headed to visit my mom and grandma in Del Mar and do some Padres shopping while we were there.

The drive south on the 5 freeway always consists of a lot of singing and dancing to everyone’s favorites.

Those are my kids “beatboxing”... oh how they make me proud.


Some of the fan gear we acquired.  If Avery looks sad it is only because she does not like to betray our beloved Angels.

Grant has two, two-hour practices a week.

I’ll be honest... these can be super hard to sit through.

Lucky for Avery... she has fallen for one of Grant’s teammates little brothers.  This keeps her happy during the two hours.

I’m not sure if I’ve shared much about the church we attend or not...

We have been a part of Rock Harbor church for a few years now and for the past 18 months have been part of what has now become the Orange Campus.

The funny thing is that the weekly service is at my Alma Mater.

We have service in what was(is) the Little Theater.

Grant goes to Sunday School in the room that I tried out for cheer in.

I help out in the nursery... which is the school’s cafeteria.


It is an amazing group of people that we have come to be family with.

It has been a great journey and we look forward to the future of going to a church service that is in our own city... blocks from our home.  Serving those that we truly live around.  When Bryan returned from his mission trip to Africa two summers ago I desperately wanted to experience something like the stories he came home with.  I was thinking of going to Uganda too, or India... or somewhere.  But the more I looked into it and the more I prayed about it... I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with the sense of staying put.  Staying put because you don’t have to go to another country to serve.  I remember telling Bryan that I didn’t know what, when or how... but I felt like I was to wait for something that would happen here, where we live.


Now... here we are.


This Sunday we had our first baptisms.

I loved how intimate it was.

I loved how all of us that were leading in the kids’ classes

just brought all the kids out to watch the baptisms.

I loved that my kids were sitting front and center.

I always love to see the people who weren’t planning to be baptized come forward and decide to do it anyway.  Even though they didn’t bring a bathing suit or change of clothes... just because they felt a personal urgency that now was the time for them.


Bryan and I have been so blessed by this community of people.

We are so grateful for the past 18 months with them.

A typical night in the Johnson home.

Grant and Avery having a pretend light saber fight

with Lucy the dog right in the middle of it all.

Today, once the morning bathroom disaster had passed,

after Grant had been dropped off ten minutes late to school,

and after my moms group had left my home,

Avery and I built a pretty kick-butt train track in the living room.

Although some days start off crappy... it’s usually just a moment, or a few moments, or maybe an hour of discomfort before you realize there are still so many other things to be grateful for.