Sunday, June 29, 2008
Julie and Leah again (didn't mean to upload 2 of these!)
My youngest brother Rhett
My nephew, Wesley....Rhett and Amanda's son
What a day!
Friday, June 27, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
What a wonderful 17 years! I married the most fabulous man! Our years together have truly been wonderful. When we married I had just graduated from college one month prior, and Jimmy had just finished his first year of medical school. He was 23, I was 21. The first nine years of our marriage were spent in Jackson, MS while Jimmy complete medical school, residency, and fellowship. I was advised early in our marriage by another physician's spouse to learn to amuse myself during medical school and training, not to resent the time Jimmy spent studying and working, and to be happy and grateful for any time we had together. This advice served me well, and I think it is good advice for any young bride. The first 3 years I taught school. After that, we had Olivia soon followed by Julie and Clay so I had plenty of things to occupy my time!
Jimmy is kind, caring, sympathetic, generous, understanding, compassionate and loving. I do not list these adjectives lightly. He really is all of these things and more. He is so gentle with me and the children. He always knows just what to say to me whenever I have a problem. He sets a wonderful Christian example for me, our children and for all who know and work with him. I am so thankful to have such a sweet husband. He never complains about anything I do (or don't do). He is an extremely hard worker both at his job outside the home and here around the house. He spends 12+ hours a day working to provide for our family, then spends his free time either working on our property or just playing with the children and me. If something breaks, he fixes it. He takes care of the yard, the woods, the boat, the barn, the backhoe, and everything else. I am grateful that he is so handy, and even more grateful that he is teaching all of his skills to the children. He usually has one of them tagging along for whatever job he is doing. When he runs an errand he always invites one or more of them to go with him. He encourages them, hugs them, loves them, and disciplines them. He is a super daddy.
The first 17 years have flown by creating many precious memories. I am looking forward to many, many more years with this man I love so much. I thank God for him every day. He is my best friend.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Jimmy and Clay went on a canoe trip to Bear Creek today with some people that Jimmy works with. They were gone most of the day and had a great time. Of course Clay jumped in the creek.
I worked on Vacation Bible School material all day. The girls helped me some, watched a movie, and read books. Leah and Sam destroyed the school room while I worked! Playdoh, counting bears, foam stickers, glue, markers, Little People, and a big toy basket were some of the things that occupied them. Thankfully, Olivia and Julie helped me get everything put away before supper.
I am teaching the 1 and 2yos in VBS. I wrote/compiled a "curriculum" for the class this year. Each day we are studying a different person from the Old Testament: Joseph, Moses, David, Daniel, Jonah. I am using The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes for my text. I plan to sing welcome songs and Bible songs and then read the short story for the day. Next will be a simple craft followed by snacktime then outside play. Then we will read a picture book about the person of the day and color a picture. Finally we will sing more songs and get ready to go home. I put small laminated pictures pertaining to the day's lessons in the little Bibles we use for our Bible songs. They are used to looking for pictures in their Bibles on Sundays and Wednesdays, and they really enjoy it.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Layer 1: Mix 1 box crushed vanilla wafers, 1 stick melted butter and 1/2 cup chopped pecans and press into the bottom of a 9x13 dish.
Layer 2: Mix 1 8oz. softened cream cheese, 1 8oz. cool whip and 1 cup powdered sugar. Spread on crust.
Layer 3: Mix 2 cans sweetened condensed milk and 3/4 cup lemon juice. Spread on layer 2.
Layer 4: 1 8 oz. cool whip.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Clay is spending the night at his friends' house (Parker and Carson). They were at the lake when I called Clay to ask him something. He always has lots of fun at their house. They usually wake up before 6:00 a.m. and head outside to play!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Leah's favorite breakfast is Sausage & Cheese Muffins. This morning she helped me make them by grating the cheese, pouring in the ingredients, and stirring. Yummy!
Sausage & Cheese Muffins
1 lb. sausage, browned
2 2/3 cups biscuit mix
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 cup milk
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Mix all ingredients and put into 12 muffin tins (sprayed with cooking spray). Bake at 400 for 16-20 minutes.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Making time for exercise is a daily challenge for me. I love how exercise makes me feel during and after, but the logistics of getting all of the children safe and happy so that I can exercise can be difficult. If you are trying to find time to exercise, let me suggest four options.
You have to be creative, but you can do it!
This is what Sam does while I exercise.....jump, hang, and swing on the weights.....or smell my hair when I am lying on the floor!
As you can see, I have changed my blog background.....with step by step coaching from my sister-in-law Megan on the telephone. Thanks Megan!
I am up to running 2 miles without any significant pain. I am signed up for a 5K June 28th. I will be pushing Leah and Sam in the jogging stroller which makes running a little more difficult. The race is in Memphis, so I won't have a babysitter to watch them on the sidelines while I run. Jimmy plans to jog back to get the stroller from me after he finishes the race. I hope I have run at least 2 miles when he finds me!!
Monday, June 16, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
I have used ChorePack clip art for my non-readers in the past, but tonight I printed out Leah's chore cards with words at the top and then let her illustrate the chore. She enjoyed doing this.
We do chores twice a day--before breakfast and before supper. We call the afternoon time the "Five O'Clock Tidy". It's what we do before Jimmy comes home--so he won't break his neck trying to get to the kitchen!
Morning chores include tidy room, make bed, get dressed, bring dirty laundry, unload dishwasher, various pet chores (4 dogs, 1 cat), practice piano, and water plants.
Afternoon chores include clean up outside toys, put away laundry, tidy bedroom, take out trash, tidy den, clean off bar in kitchen, tidy playroom, tidy schoolroom--these common areas are each assigned to one child. On Fridays they also clean out and vacuum the van.
I have my own chores during these chore times---Morning: cleaning up the kitchen, starting the washer/dryer, tidying up my bedroom and bathroom. Afternoon: vacuuming our high traffic areas, starting supper, putting away Sam's, Jimmy's and my laundry, helping Clay clean Sam's part of their shared bedroom.
But, I have not always had household help, and I am teaching or have already taught my older children how to dust, sweep, mop, vacuum, and clean bathrooms. They will need these skills when they move out on their own, plus there are times now that we do all of these jobs in between times when Mrs. Barnes cleans.
When Jimmy and I were first married and until the time we had Olivia, I cleaned my whole house (well, apartment) in one day. After having children I realized that I no longer had one large block of time for house cleaning so for years I used one of two systems.
I divided the house into 5 zones. 1--kitchen and laundry area, 2--den, 3--children's bedrooms and bathroom, 4--master bedroom and bath, 5--playroom, hallways, half bath. I cleaned every part of each zone a day. This would include dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, etc.
I divided the cleaning into jobs. I would do 1 job throughout the house each day. 1--sweep/mop, 2--vacuum, 3--dust, 4--bathrooms, 5--kitchen counters and appliances.
When I teach the children how to do a certain job like clean a bathroom I type step by step directions for them.
I am also compiling a list of chores I want to be sure to teach them before they leave home. Some of these they have already learned. The list includes: changing air filters, cleaning out the refrigerator and freezer, washing and drying clothes, ironing, cleaning out the car, washing the car, washing windows, and cleaning the grill.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
The children presented him with handmade gifts and cards and then gave him ROLLER BLADES! Now we all have them!
Today Olivia, Julie and Clay ran in the Frog Level 5K. They did super! Olivia won 1st place in her age division, Julie won 2nd place overall female (beat by 1 second by the same 12yo that beat her by 1 second last week!), and Clay won 1st place in his age group. Go Johnsons!
See the Race Results in the sidebar for their times.
Jimmy is working this weekend and I am still not ready to race. I did begin running Thursday. A whopping .75 mile! I plan to slowly build up my distance and run in a race June 28th.
Friday, June 13, 2008
permanent file--this is where I keep the cards, letters, and artwork the children make specifically for Jimmy or me--birthday cards, thank you letters, mother's day art, etc. I actually have 3 files labeled for this category. I do not file anything that is not flat.
outgoing mail file--pictures drawn or painted for no particular reason, or items specifically made for someone to be mailed to them. These pictures are for grandparents, elderly people from our church, sick people, and just someone who may need to receive a beautiful picture and sweet note in the mail.
3-ring binders--each child has a 3 ring binder labeled "Art" filled with page protectors. As they create masterpieces that they want to keep, they put them into their binder. When the binder is full, it is easily stored.
large plastic box--this is for non-flat artwork that for the time being we cannot part with. I am limiting the items kept to what can fit in the box. Eventually, some of this artwork will have to be refiled into my last location......
file T--the trash can! Sadly, some of the art goes straight to file T. As I mentioned before, I cannot keep everything! Some people take pictures of their children holding their creations before moving them to file T.
Whether you keep your spices in your pantry, a cabinet, a drawer or on a shelf, try putting them in ABC order. You will be able to easily locate the spice you need. Assign the job of alphabetizing the spices to a child. He will receive practice in a valuable skill, and you will have neatly organized spices!
I actually have 3 sets of files. 1) files of opened mail--things to be eventually put into a permanent file, bills to be paid, forms to fill out, etc. These files are kept in a small file box close to where I open mail. I alphabetize all of my files by their name. I name them very simply so I can locate them when I need to----bills to pay, phone lists, recipes, etc. 2) school related files--kept in a separate file drawer. Some of these file titles are Bible memory, calendar supplies, Christmas crafts, elections, reading lists, etc. Again, naming them simply and filing them alphabetically helps me to quickly find what I need. 3) permanent files--all of those pieces of paper that I must keep. My permanent files take up 3 file drawers. I actually need to go through these files and see what I can throw away! Our permanent files include things such as insurance info (auto, home, boat, health, etc.), warranties, receipts for major purchases, owners manuals, children's art work (the precious things they draw and make for us), bank statements, tax documents, etc.
If your files need reorganizing, try sorting the papers into logical categories, naming them simply, and alphabetizing them. If the job is especially daunting, then just work on it for 15 minutes at a time until you have completed the task.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
To add even more interest to the day, I was scheduled to take 3 of our (4) dogs and our cat to the vet for their annual checkups. I had originally planned to take 2 pets yesterday and 2 today, but since I had to take Clay to the dr. yesterday plus I had an appointment also yesterday at the foot center (picking up the orthotics for my running shoes) I had to reschedule to take all 4 today. What an adventure! I took Olivia and Clay with me to help herd them all in. Two of the dogs are yard dogs which means they have no leash training! Lilly, our inside dog, does a little better on a leash, but does not get along with the other dogs, especially in close quarters like inside the truck! The cat was on the verge of a nervous breakdown between riding with 3 dogs, two of which are very large, and being forced into the pet carrier. The cat never goes outside except for the yearly visit to the vet. The vet reported that she threw up during the exam. (must be kin to Sam!). I am sure it was stress! The ride to and from the vet was thrilling! Lucky (80 lbs.) trampled Sam trying to get to the windshield to see out. The cat was crying pitifully. Lilly (25 lbs.) rode in my lap. Olivia had the cat carrier in her lap, Lucky in her lap (after I sent him to the back after making Sam cry), and Ribsy (56 lbs.) trying to get in her lap. I could not even see Olivia's face. Clay thought it was all great fun! I was just glad to get home. I opened the truck door and got out of the way before I was knocked down by escaping dogs.
What a day!
Monday, June 9, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
The night before my grocery shopping day I make a weekly supper menu and then highlight the items I will need to prepare each meal. I also know how much milk, cokes, juice, cereal, produce, etc. to buy to last us one week. I rotate several of the same meals for breakfast and lunch so I buy a week's worth of supplies for those meals too. I have one month's worth of suppers typed and taped inside the pantry. I start at the top, cook each meal and when I get to the bottom of the list I just begin again. I do try new recipes on occasion, but the master supper list helps me to make a one week meal plan and grocery list without too much thought. I have tried shopping for 2 weeks and even one month of groceries, but it is just too overwhelming for me. It takes too many carts (3) and I still have to go back to the store weekly for milk and produce.......so I have decided that is just simpler to buy for one full week at a time.
I have the items on my grocery list typed in the order that they appear in the store as I walk through. This is a big time saver.
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Thought outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
I committed this verse to memory years ago, and I thought about it again and how it applies to our lives as I was exercising yesterday. Paul, who wrote this letter to the Corinthians, certainly had more light and momentary troubles than most people today. He was persecuted and subjected to various hardships because he was a Christian and a preacher of the Gospel. Yet, he calls these hardships (hunger, shipwreck, beatings, imprisonment, and others) "light and momentary troubles" in light of his eternal reward.
What are your troubles today? sickness? terminal illness? physical pain,? failing marriage? wayward children? sick children? unemployment? financial difficulties? an overwhelming to-do list? broken down vehicle? arguing children? aging parents? stressful job? Whatever our troubles are for this day, let us keep in mind the big picture. Our daily trials, no matter how large and ominous they seem, are just that--daily trials, light and momentary troubles achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. Our hope is heaven! So let us do as Paul states and "fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen".
How do we do this? How do we get past being consumed by our daily trials?
1. Practice thanksgiving. There is always something you can be thankful for. Regularly thank God for any and all blessings you can think of. Thank the people around you for what they have done for you. Thanksgiving produces joy. When you are thankful you realize all that you DO have, all that IS going right in your life. This takes your mind off your current troubles.
2. Think about the early Christians, the ones we read about in the New Testament. Compare their lives to yours, their hardships to yours, their commitment to following Jesus to yours.....we can all improve our attitudes when we realize how stressful (and endangered) their lives were, just because they were Christians. Certainly our problems pale in comparison.
3. Keep your eyes on the eternal. Loving God and serving Him through obedience is all that really matters. God has not promised us an easy life. We have no promise of a trouble-free existence. We certainly do not deserve an easy ride. Keep this in mind and be grateful. Be grateful for every single positive thing you can think of.
4. "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" Philippians 4:4
Sunday, June 1, 2008
I plan to push Sam in the stroller and jog with Leah in the Green Street Mile. I guess she can ride if she gets tired!
Olivia and Julie did super in the 1 mile race Friday night. They each won 1st place in their age group. See Race Results for their times.