Monday, December 28, 2009

Jeffrey's Preschool Christmas Program

I have to say that I LOVE THE HOLIDAY SEASON!!! Why else would I have squeezed almost our entire family's 'dates' into 3 months? 
My Birthday is October 18, Grace's the 26th, Our Anniversary is November 26th (yes, on Thanksgiving this year) and Jeffrey's birthday is ON Christmas Day! That leaves poor Greg's birthday all the way back in June.

This year's Holiday Season proved to be our busiest one yet. 
We started off the Holiday Break from Preschool with Jeffrey and his classmates putting on the most adorable Christmas Program I have ever attended (also the first with my kiddo as a participant of course). They sang all sorts of Carols and I was so happy that they also sang Happy Birthday to Jesus but included all the children with birthdays close to his as well. Jeffrey got a little solo time on stage with Ava during this part. I can admit that Yes there were a few happy tears seeing my little boy a part of something so cute. 
We absolutely love his preschool Joyful Learning Christian Preschool and his teachers there are wonderful, Miss Veronica, Miss Bonnie and Miss Shelley. The program came to a close with the 'surprise' visit of who else, but SANTA!! Jeffrey's face just lit up at the sight of him and he was happy to sit on his lap, although Grace would have none of it. This was a great kick off to over a week of Christmas Joy!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

On a COLD Winter's Morning!

This year we started a tradition if you will and made a trip to Thornton's Tree Land to pick out the Johnson Family Christmas Tree...

First however, too much to list on one blog entry so stay tuned actual tree photos, we stopped by the Barn where they had a Goat and Llama you can feed. In the adjacent barn they had a gift shop where they offered free hot cocoa and a warm fire. Aunt Annette was able to join us which was very helpful for warming up the kids and going to frequent hot cocoa runs for Jeffrey. 

Five One Year Olds, and their Momma's

A little over a year ago (and within about 6 weeks of each other) FIVE new babies were born. A culmination of what seemed like an eternity of being pregnant came to an end. Claire (born 10/20), Adalyn (born 10/24), Cameron (born 12/5), Gracelyn (born 10/26) and Cole (born 11/30) as pictured below with moms, Amanda, Kim, Julie, Me and Erika, were all welcomed to the world by their families and friends.

That first 'play date' in January consisted of  tired momma's, all of the 1st borns and the new additions. We didn't know what the year would bring us but are thrilled to be a much closer knit group of women and their children. There have been many many laughs, firsts and some tears but we are especially thankful for 5, no 10, beautiful and healthy children.

As a group we all decided to celebrate their First Year together and rented Cafe Sip 'N Play for this big event! It was wonderful to see all of the Mom's and Dad's and their kiddos have a relaxing time and celebrate the First Year of each of our second babies.

Taking a ride...

Greg has this fun little game he plays with Jeffrey. It is easy, CHEAP and FUN! Jeffrey has now taken his own initiative to make it fun for Grace too. Since she does whatever her big brother wants she happily sits on the blanket while he S-L-O-W-L-Y pulls her around on the floor. It produces lots and lots of giggles and one of my ONLY photographs of the two kids together smiling too.

The Thanksgiving trek home to Moscow!

Thanksgivings for us are usually spent with My Mom in Moscow, Idaho. It is a very looong 6 hour drive these days but Greg and I always love to return to the place we met and although we don't always see familiar faces everywhere we look now, it is great to hook up with those who did stick around. 
This year we were able to spend a lot of time mingling with old friends as Mom and Lyanne helped out watching the little turkeys while we had a lot of fun! Thank you for the much needed break.
This Thanksgiving also marked out 4th Anniversary so instead of time alone out on a hot date, we spent it over-indulging on a fantastic Thanksgiving meal with my Mom, Lyanne (her bun in the oven), her boyfriend Loren and our two little ones. Grace fully enjoyed the entire meal while Jeffrey was a little less hungry this year than most.
We do love the craze of Black Friday in Moscow and meticulously plan out our attack on retailers in the wee hours. This year Grandma stayed home while we split up to score great deals. Thanks Grandma! 
Another thing we were able to do this year was attend the Final Vandal Football Game of the season. My longtime friend from school Adrienne and her boyfriend Brad shared some of their season tickets with us and we tailgated with them enjoying 'warm' drinks and yummy food. The Vandals didn't win that day but we had a great time. An event I would like to make a tradition, maybe!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Our Pumpkin Patch

We have had a great time this year growing a patch full of pumpkins. Greg enjoyed a competition at work betting on who could grow the heaviest and nicest looking pumpkin. Out of the entries he did win the 'heaviest' with his pumpkin weighing in at a whopping 98.5 pounds!!! It had a unattractive features so he didn't win that entry.

Every (well the past 2) year we go to the pumpkin patch with Aaron & Serena and family. Grandma and Grandpa have been joining us on the excursion too. This year all of the little kids were able to tour the corn maze. Last year Gracelyn was still waiting to make her entrance into the world. It was a prime opportunity for some great photo ops, although your could pay Jeffrey enough to actually "smile" at the camera or even really look at it these days. After the corn maze we enjoyed a great hayride to  the Pumpkin Patch. Thankfully this year it was a gorgeous day and there wasn't any rain. We were able to pick out a very nicely shaped pumpkin for carving. After the pumpkin patch we enjoyed some special treats at their food vendors and purchased some produce from the little general store. As we were leaving both of our little monkeys sacked out from all the running around and excitement. We love Halloween and especially the chance to spend great traditions with family.

Our Cupcake Turns One!

Finally I am blogging about this...

One year ago on October 26, 2008 I was introduced to the most beautiful little girl I know. Gracelyn Diane Johnson joined our family, the final precious piece to our puzzle.

We have had such a great time this year raising our little girl. Jeffrey went from telling us to 'put baby back' to morning hugs and kisses and saying 'good morning Grace'. He has been a major contributor to her rough and tumbling personality. She has had to learn quickly that her big brother has a little jealousy and she has to be on guard at all times for his sweeping clothesline arm that can knock her clean over.
Grace is a sweet sweet little cuddly bug though and melts any heart with her adorable smile. 
She has proven to us that all babies really are different, the one common theme she and Jeffrey share is their ability to keep us laughing even through the many trials of parenthood. We are looking forward to watching her grow this next year and witness all of the firsts we saw during Jeffrey's second year and how she will be her own little person.