Saturday, December 29, 2007

today's funny

i walked into the bathroom today to find greta sitting on the toilet bended down with her head in her knees. i asked her, "greta, what are you doing?" her response: "i'm trying to remember yellowstone." where do kids get these things? we were in yellowstone 3 months ago and yet she still talks about it. hilarious...this is one for the record books!

merry christmas!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

fun with aunt beth

beth came to visit this past weekend. she flew in thursday night (on a blue plane, greta was sure to ask, "what color was your plane?" first thing. do you think she flies much?) and flew out monday morning. we spent friday in corvallis showing her around our (cute) town, saturday at the beach and with carolyn for dinner, then sunday after church we were off to portland to see santa & enjoying the city a bit. we loved our time with beth and at one point greta said, "mommy, i'm going to call you aunt beth." she sure does love her. here are some pictures from our time...really, they are all from the beach (it was a gorgeous break in the rain we had!). it was fun for me to head to the coast, especially since we spent time in newport, which is where i went every year growing up...and now i'm sharing it with my's neat when it happens like that. are the pictures!

a few pictures of greta and beth running around barefoot at the beach

greta's footprints in the sand

greta running from the waves

beth, mike & greta at seal rock (awesome beach, i'd never been there)

a little snuggle time with aunt beth before she leaves

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

chubby chew!

as my friend chris likes to refer to full babies, we do have a "chubby chew" on our hands. after going through life with a beanpole kid, it's nice having a baby who sits in her highchair with her mouth wide open waiting for each bite to hit her lips. her large stature was evident at her 9 month check-up, where calla weighed in at 19 lbs 2 oz, more than greta weighed when she turned one (she was a little over 18 lbs then and only weighs 25 two months shy of her 3rd birthday). i tried to find the "fattest" picture of her i could...and had to throw in a few others!

this is from the summer...but i think it captures her size quite well.

our christmas pic...she really smiles likes this all the time- at strangers, the wall, her pink chair, it's amazing!

and greta...lately i can't help but think she is such a little girl. here she is sporting her first braids, which she now wants all the time. "i want braids like maja." someone loves her cousin!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Thanksgiving...a little bit late!

i know, i's taken FAR too long to get these pictures up, but in the past week we have suffered three colds, one fever, one bad back, two finals...and let's just say that our bags are yet to be unpacked! it's hard getting settled during finals week. mike's last final is tomorrow night & then maybe we will get ourselves into a's yet to happen since we've moved here. anyway, here are the pictures from our trip to new hampshire. we had the best time being with everyone and it was great seeing greta & maja pick back up right where they left off...they did not skip a beat. and calla was giddy over linnea. calla is crawling all over & picking herself up on things and she wanted linnea to be doing it right along with next year they too will be running around together.
it was a wonderful time, and sad to say our good byes. we miss the friendships for our girls & also for us. we just miss them all. are the pictures of our week. it was a good one. scott thinks all the fun happened after the dads left...the first four are from the time with dads...the rest are after. the question remains, was more fun had w/o dads?

they did this on their own...on the way to see great papa j

art projects are always a good way to pass time...and fun too!

great papa j had the coolest toy

greta getting a close up of maja

making thanksgiving place cards (they were made after thanksgiving, so they are for next year!)

grandma j showing greta & maja how to make a gingerbread house

the finished product...greta put so much frosting on this side that it collapsed

calla trying so hard to get linnea to play with her

the girls watching "the singing movie" (aka- disney princess sing-a-long songs, which i highly recommend for any 3 or soon-to-be 3 year old's quite the hit)

grandma & papa j with their broad of granddaughters...what are the chances it would be all girls?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

the big 3-0!

this past weekend was my 30th birthday. mike took the girls to my parents for the weekend & i spent the weekend with good friends in the Columbia River Gorge area. maggie & ingrid drove down from seattle, kara from vancouver bc & we picked carolyn up in salem on our way to portland. we had an awesome weekend together & it made me thankful for good friends. I think the highlight of the trip was our "spa" experience. we went to a mineral spa & it was pretty hilarious. we took group mineral baths, group body wraps & yes, the massages were only separated by curtains, so you could say those were "group" massages too. it was quite the hilarious, we were all dying laughing the whole time. we decided it was the strangest place any of us had odd. here are some pictures from the spa & from dinner out in hood river (super cute town) and multnomah falls....thanks girls for a fabulous weekend! and i can't forget to give a BIG thanks to mike for watching our girls & also throwing me a surprise dinner. you are a wonderful husband...i love you.

the sign out front was deceiving of what we would find inside...

below is the board that gave you a picture of your massage therapist...has anyone ever seen something like that before?
here are the mineral baths...

just in case you wanted a close up of the tubs

and here we are getting body wraps...if only we had pictures of the massage tables

multnomah falls

dinner in hood river- thanks girls!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007 update

mike took greta, scarlet & calla to the park on sunday while i showed violet around town. greta made a new friend, willow. they were playing when willow asked, "why does that baby [calla] have a grape on her head?" i think from here on out we are going to refer to calla's bump as a grape. it was too cute. on the flip side there were kids at the library yesterday who were scared when they saw it...that was a first & pretty sad. sad that it would be scary. who could be scared of a grape? :)

Sunday, November 4, 2007


why is it that baby pictures are so much cuter in the nude? calla has had some horrible diaper rash and thus has spent a lot of time airing out...which calls for lots of naked pictures! calla has also learned to sit up (not completely upright, but it's better than the teetering she did before) and she is this close to crawling! greta didn't learn to sit up until after she started crawling. she also crawled at 7 months & calla is almost 8 months so she is a little behind...but she was born earlier than greta so they are about even! anyway, thought i would share the cute naked pictures. and a halloween picture of the fairy/butterfly sisters. greta went back & forth when people would ask her what she was. half the time she said butterfly, the other half fairy. so does that make her a butterfly fairy? whatever she was...she was pretty stinking cute!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

life without mike

i know, it sounds totally awful, depressing, sad, terrible...there are a million words, but our life since september 24th has pretty much been without mike. that is what happens when someone enters grad school after taking an eight year hiatus from school, and when they are getting a masters in a different area than their undergrad degree. we have had visitors, been to various places in oregon & have been trying to enjoy life here...all without mike. i was thinking this as i was looking for a picture with him in it. hilary wanted one for brooke's room. here's the problem...we don't have any. i mean, yes, we have them, but not one since we've been in oregon (just in case you were wondering, we've been here six weeks). and i have a feeling our next family picture will probably be over thanksgiving...or maybe my birthday (it's a big one this year). anyway...enjoy the photos of the life of the johnson girls...that is our life these days...all the girls!

mindi and the girls (it was a windy day!)

the girls with mindi & carolyn...introducing them to wineries at a young age (don't worry, there were about 5 other kids there)

greta & jakob carlson

visitor 1- annalea (which, calla looks like annalea!)

someone found her toes

greta kills me in this picture...she could not look cuter!

the johnson girls (we're in hood river apple country...there were apples & pumpkins everywhere, but we picked a spot in front of the old tractor)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


while people often don't ask us about calla's bump on her head, i'm realizing that people notice. when kids notice they are obvious. we were with friends in minnesota & their 2 year old started squeezing the bump. older kids ask, "what is that?" but when it comes to adults, especially other moms, they don't say anything...they just look (more like stare). sometimes i say something when the staring is especially obvious, but i honestly don't think about her bump so usually i don't say anything about it. but...if any of you have been wondering, her bump is a cluster of small blood blisters. if it burst it would be horribly bloody, look awful, and we would need to take her to the hospital, but it would not be dangerous. it will go away when she is older (probably 2 or 3) so we don't worry it. i took the pictures of it so we could remember it. when calla was in the ISCU we just wanted to be with her & didn't end up taking many i wish we'd taken more. so i want to document the things in life that i want our kids to know about, even if they will never remember...and even if they are not fun & pretty. we think calla is perfect & rarely notice her bump, but when she is older i will want to show her the little "imperfection."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

the first rainy morning

calla is now eating finger foods...she seems so old...where did the newborn baby go?

i think this is the best nap position i've captured yet!

the girls (greta had been eating blueberries, hence the blue mouth)

calla is so close to crawling!
greta put her lamp back all by herself!

i did this kind of first, when i meant to end with pictures. one of these days i'll really know how to work this thing. first & then you can read about the rainy days! :) just a few pics from the past few weeks.


although no one will believe me, this is the first morning we have been here that we woke up to rain. don't get me wrong, there have been several days where it's started raining during the day, but this is the first that it's raining when we woke up. now, let me explain oregon rain. you don't wake up to heavy rain and thunder, it's really a quiet mist that comes down. i didn't even realize it was raining until i looked closely outside. as mike likes to explain it, it's as if the sky is spitting on us. so today the skies are giving us spit. maybe i should start keeping track of how many days in a row it rains. that is a fun northwest hobby...counting the rainy days. i will say, so far i've also seen the sun every day so maybe it won't be too bad...but it's also only october. yesterday at work my coworkers were informing me that oregon has the highest rate of anti-depressants in the country. doesn't that make you want to move here tomorrow? yet everyone who lives here seems to LOVE it even though the weather is lousy, the town (and oregon) has a lot of cool things to offer.

last weekend we discovered the farmer's market, which was really fun. we went with friends and made a nice fresh salad for dinner. i also bought several sweet potatoes & butternut squash and have made vats of baby food. our fridge is being invaded. now i need to move onto to some greens and some fruits. i'm stuck in the smashing bananas habit. i need to get avocados out again too...greta started young & still loves them so i hope calla will do the same. the joys of baby food.

we also found the library this week. we walked about with the 10 book limit (that i instilled...greta would take the whole library given her choice) and a dvd. they have story time on tuesday mornings so we are going to try that soon too. this weekend is the 5th annual kids for consesrvation day so we are going to check that out. being in a small town makes it easy to not only find out what is taking place, but also go to everything. it's not like chicago where you are choosing from 10 different activities. there is usually one activity so you go. the great thing is that they seem really good so we're taking advantage of everything.

tomorrow annalea arrives & greta is especially excited because her (big) friend scarlet is spending the weekend here. we've been counting down the days! aunt kaitlin is coming saturday...and now we need to start counting down for next week...mindi comes a week from today!!! we can't wait!!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

life in corvallis = road rage

we have now been living in corvallis for two weeks. how do you get used to a small college town coming from chicago? some things are a welcome reprieve from city life (like no traffic). some things are harder to get used to (like no targets within 20 miles). i have found myself having road rage at times because people move so slowly. you can't swerve around cars, drive through yellow lights or use bumpers while parking. you have to drive with respect for other drivers & pedestrians...who would have thought that existed? this forces us to...slow down! it's been a long time since we've done that! there are so few people driving that we can get anywhere we need to be within 15 minutes. the slower pace is nice. the fresh air, natural's really nice to be in a different setting.

the hardest thing about life here is figuring out how life works. mike spends most of his time either in school or studying, and i am still trying to unpack boxes, get settled, and get used to working again. it's hard to figure out a new schedule, while trying to put two kids on a schedule at the same time. it feels like an uphill battle, but i know we'll get there...i remind's only been two weeks.

i accepted a part time job at OSU. i'm a part time office worker with full time benefits. because of this 20 hr/week job we get medical and dental benefits for our family, along with...wait for it...fully paid tuition for mike's school. this is a blessing beyond anything we could have ever imagined. even writing it i can't believe it's true. we are thankful.

we have met a few people here & really like them. we had a playdate with friends of friends & they were all nice, and all happen to attend the only covenant church in town! i think God wants us to go to this church! we are trying it out this week so we'll see how it goes...there are other churches in town, but a covenant church does just feel like home.

we have yet to take a picture since moving in so the next goal (after i finish unpacking) is to take some pictures. maybe i'll take some tomorrow when we try out the farmer's market & have our first dinner guests! and then next week the visitors begin...annalea, we are ready & waiting for you! :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

our trip- part 1 are pictures from our trip. we have over a hundred, so here is a glimpse of the things we did. i had some trouble uploading, so it's divided into part 1 & 2...enjoy looking. i'm sure we'll update about life in corvallis soon, but it was time for some pictures first.

leaving 5300 n spaulding

yes, our first stop was at a walmart, but we needed baby food & your options are limited when you're on the road!

our first tourist attraction...the Mitchell Corn Palace (can you see us down there?)

Here we the Corn Palace for the International Polka can tell they draw quite a crowd.