Author Archives: Brianna

About Brianna

I'm 27 and the mother to four beautiful and wonderful children. My dream job is to be a stay-at-hom-mother, and my husband works really hard to make that dream a reality. My husband and I have been married for 10 years and couldn't be happier or more in love!

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes!

First of all, I have to thank my dear, sweet father for getting Emma and I tickets to see Princesses on Ice.  IT WAS WONDERFUL!!! 


Emma really wanted to wear her Tinkerbell costume from Halloween but the more I thought about it I decided against it.  We were going to be in a skating arena and I didn’t want her to freeze.  We compromised and I let her wear her Tinkerbell jeans (has a back pocket with Tinkerbell on it), her “Lella” crown (I wore one too!), and we each brought a “bobbity- boo”.  I think that got us in the spirit of what we were about to experience.  When we got there, there were tons of little girls all dressed up, but they kept complaining to their parents, “I’m too cold!”  So it turned out perfect.

We got there with enough time to walk around and watch everyone else buying the absurdly overpriced trinkets and food.  Since we brought Lella with us, Emma didn’t seem to mind that we didn’t get any of that other stuff.  We made our way to our seats but climbing up 50 stairs (that’s right, I counted them :) ) to get to the arena and then back down just as many to get to our seats.  We were about 10 feet away from the stage which was perfect.  We weren’t too close to get wet from the spitting camels, but close enough to see the characters REALLY well.

FYI, the pictures are a little blurry because everyone was moving, but you can get a good idea of what our view was and how great the characters were.  We went through all the Princesses stories and watched as their wishes came true.  It started with Jasmine and Aladdin and went to Snow White, Bell from Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, The Little Mermaid, Aurora from Sleeping Beauty, and finally, Cinderella!  The costumes were adorable, the special effects were a perfect touch, and I couldn’t have asked for a better night out with my daughter!


During Under the Sea song and dance, they released tons of bubbles from the ceiling.  You should have heard the squeals that came out of Emma :D .  It made for a magical scene.


During the Sleeping Beauty scene, they had the dragon come out, it actually blew fire on the ice.  That got Emma’s attention!  She wasn’t scared, but she was wide eyed.


At the very end, they had all the Princesses and their Princes come out and dance for us.  Cinderella’s carriage was wheeled out and Tinkerbell was given honorable mention.  They raised the carriage up and shot fireworks off.  It caught both of us off guard, but in a good way.  Sorry the video is in the wrong direction, I thought I was taking a picture.  If you listen carefully, you can hear Emma squealing in the background.


I learned a lot about myself and Disney tonight.  I realized that there are only two movies that I could never do without in my life.  That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy or love any of the others.  The first is Cinderella.  Any movie or character that can bring so much joy and happiness to my daughters life, and in turn mine, is number one in my book!

The second is Sleeping Beauty!  I haven’t seen it since we moved from Pennsylvania (it’s been in storage), but as I was listening to the music and the dialogue something stirred inside of me.  When I told my dad about it tonight he said that that made sense to him.  He said that I was obsessed with that movie when I was younger, especially the last scene where the fairies keep changing her dress color from pink to blue.  He said that he thought that because it was such a good memory from my childhood that he could see how it could have brought back feelings.

I am so glad that Papa gave me and Emma this magical opportunity to have some one on one mother-daughter time.  I’m telling you, if you get the chance go and see it!

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Filed under Brianna, Combs Family, Emma

A Dream Come True!

It’s here!  It’s finally here!  I don’t know who’s more excited, me or Emma!  Tonight I’m taking her to see the Disney Princesses on Ice at the Orlean’s Casino.  I know how much she’s going to love it, and I think that’s what’s getting me so excited.  She wants to wear her “Peterbell” costume and her “Lella” crown and bring her “Bobbity-boo”!  I don’t know if any of you got a word of that because it’s all in little girl, but kudos to anyone who can decipher!



Filed under Brianna, Emma

Marvelous Mondays!

I completely forgot about last Monday’s post, so I’m making up for it here!  I’m grateful for…

1.  Channel 922.  My in-laws have Cox Digital Cable.  Channel 922 is a music channel that plays KIDZ only music.  I absolutely love this channel.  Ever since my home invasion experience I find that I always have the TV or the radio on.  I need some kind of background noise or my imagination starts to get the better of me.  This channel has great up beat and appropriate music for my little ones.  Benjamin and Emma even know the words to some of the songs.  It’s so much fun to clean up after meal time with a little High School Musical dance beat or a little Hannah Montana!  There’s one great song, that the kids listen for every time, called “The Crazy Frog”.  It can be a little annoying if you’re not in the right mood, but more often than not, it can put a smile on your face!

2.  My glasses.  I have awful eyesight.  I hope to one day be able to get that lasik surgery, but for now I seek refuge with my glasses.  They give my eyes the break that they so desperately need after going, some days, 24/7.  I like my glasses, and I love that my husband thinks I look hot in them :) !  How, you ask me!  Jared says that I look sexiest when I’m in comfortable clothes, like my glasses or an old t-shirt of his.  Sorry, that’s probably more information than you needed to know :) .

3.  James Patterson.  He’s such a great author.  I love the way he structures his books.  The chapters are extremely short so I can stop at any point.  I don’t have to think too much when I read his books, it makes for good down time for me.

4.  Girls’ Night.  It’s great to have a group of girls to hang out with every now and then.  I think it’s important for your health as well as the health of your children :D .  I’m really glad that I’ve been able to get to know so many women in my ward even though I’m in Primary.

5.  The New Year.  It’s so great to have that refreshing feeling of newness.  To be able to reflect on the past and look to the future.  I’m grateful for this time of year and the way it helps me think productively about my life and my family’s lives.

6.  Dave Lowry.  What an amazing man he is.  He has been with us through quite a bit.  I couldn’t have asked for a better Realtor to sell our house.  He is such a hard worker and what I love most, is that when were were desperate, we felt comfortable asking him to pray with/for us.  We have known him for years, and is wonderful!  Thanks Dave for getting us our contract!

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Our Journey through the Book of Mormon

Last week, in Primary, the Presidency passed out scripture reading calendars for each of the kids.

Last year they would pass out a calendar each month with a new scripture typed on each day.  If you read all the scriptures for that month, you could turn it in and get a CTR bookmark or something else.

This year their doing things a little differently.  Since we’re learning about the Book of Mormon this year in Primary, the Presidency decided that it would be good for the kids to read the entire Book of Mormon by the end of the year.  I think that is an absolutely awesome idea!  So, this month, on each day they have the scriptures that they need to read to stay on track to have the Book of Mormon read by the end of the year.

I am so excited about this.  So are the kids!  We’re on track right now (currently on 1 Nephi 12) and hope to stay that way.

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It’s official!

Today Kaleb Demitrios Johnson had his baby blessing.  We were so fortunate to be able to attend and hear the wonderful blessing his father gave him.  This was especially sweet for Jared.  This is the first baby blessing that he has been able to be in that was not for his own children.  We were living in London when they blessed Hannah Banana, so, obviously,  we weren’t able to make that.  The next three grandchildren were our children, so, obviously we were there for those.  We’re luckily living in town now, so we were able to make it!  I’m just sorry that Rachel and John and Camille are too far away to make the trip.  Maybe we can all be together for Baby L.J.’s blessing.



I love baby blessings!  They’re always so hopefull, so inspiring.  I’m so glad that my children were born in the covenant and that we were able to give them a name and a blessing.  It just starts everything off on the right note!

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Would you be a cool parent?

 I think it’s kind of interesting what little things they pulled out of my personality.  I know this is just an on line survey, but it kind of goes back to my question of a couple weeks ago… Did you have a cool mom when you were in High School?  I still have that question in the back of my mind at times.  Not that I want to be one of those moms who will let her kids do just about anything just so she can be “pals” with her kids, but I want to have the kind of relationship where they trust me and will come home from their day at school and tell me all the good and bad things that happened to them.  That’s cool to me and that’s what I want.  If any of you have any other thoughts on the subject please don’t be shy!  I’m open for anything.
You Will Be a Cool Parent

You seem to naturally know a lot about parenting, and you know what kids need.
You can tell when it’s time to let kids off the hook, and when it’s time to lay down the law.
While your parenting is modern and hip, it’s not over the top.
You know that there’s nothing cool about a parent who acts like a teenager… or a drill sergeant!

How would you rate?  Find out here!

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Girls’ Night Out

Tonight was girls’ night out, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.  Today, Benjamin just woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  That’s the best way to describe it.  I don’t know if he just didn’t get a good nights’ sleep or what, but he was cranky the entire day.  He kept picking fights with Emma and Joseph, he whined every time I didn’t let him do what he wanted, and everything that I did didn’t seem to make that much of a difference.  He’s not normally like that so it threw me for a loop.

By the time Jared got home, Benjamin was sent to bed while I was feeding the other dinner.  I told him to sit in bed and wait ’til his daddy got home.  That seemed to get a reaction from him, I only wish I could have played that card a little earlier, but since Jared works during the day I guess it can’t work all the time.

Once we all finished dinner, we read scriptures and said prayers then put the kids to bed.  I ran out with some Pumpkin Bread from Great Harvest to share with my girlfriends.  It was really nice, only five girls this time.  We just ate and talked and laughed.  It was a great time to get away and talk about things other than poopy diapers and Elmo :) .  I made sure that I didn’t make the same mistake I did last time and stay out ’til 1:30am, so I was sure to get home around 11:00 so that Jared and I could watch the re-run of Grey’s Anatomy (yeah baby!).

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Fasting and Prayer… it really works!

My Heavenly Father never ceases to amaze me!  Today was no exception.

We got a call from our Realtor, Dave Lowry, telling us that we have a contract on our home in Pennsylvania!  Can you believe it?  I didn’t!  I kept waiting for the “Just Kidding” to come into play, but it never did.  He told me that this family saw the house for the first time today and signed contract right then and there.  Their offer is very generous and they would like to close on February 6th.  They said that if everything comes together sooner that they would be more than willing to close sooner.  I guess they have signed several contracts on other houses in the area over the past couple months but kept getting outbid by other parties, so they are very motivated to get things going.  We have a house inspection for this coming Tuesday the 15th and their mortgage approval is due in on the 28th.

I am overjoyed at this new development.  I wasn’t expecting to have very many showings, much less offers, during the winter until things started warming up.  I guess I was wrong.  I should have had more faith.

The thing that is really getting to me is the fact that we just held a special fast this past Sunday.  We asked several of our family members to fast with us for our house, that someone would fall in love with it and want to take it off our hands.  We’ve done several of these kinds of fasts over the months that we have been living here (three others that included family), but, for whatever reason, we had to wait.  I think we have been very humbled by this experience and hopefully we haven’t driven Grandma and Grandpa completely insane and that they will still want us to come visit after we’ve gone.

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Filed under Church Stuff, Jared

Still Here

Sorry I’ve been kind of elusive this week.  I’ve been working on printing my blog from the past year.

A friend of mine found this website that will print and publish your blog into an actual book.  Since I started my blog as my journal, I really wanted to print it and have a hard copy.  This site takes all the thinking out of it.  It’s really neat software (download for free) that connects to your website and will configure your blog into formatted pages.  I decided to take it slow and just do one year at a time, so I’ve been collecting everything from the past year (Oct. 2006 to Oct. 2007).  I really like the way it’s turning out and I’m even more excited to see the finished product.

If you’re interested in doing this to your blog, all you have to do is go to , set up a new account, download the software (provided), and you’re set!  I’ll let you know what I think about it when I get it back.

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Grandma’s Back!

Grandma left on Sunday to go spend a few days with Camille, John, Hannah, and Baby L.J.  Camille’s mother was able to stay and help out the first few days but then had to leave.  Camille had a sister coming, but not for another week.  Patsi thought she could run down there for a few days and help out and see her new grandson for a few days.  How perfect is that!

Jared just picked her up from the airport this evening.  The kids made a little “Welcome Home, Grandma” banner.  When she got home she shared the pictures that she had take while she was there (my kinda girl).  I’m so excited to be going down to Arizona in a few weeks.  We’re going to be able to see their new house and their new baby.  Here are some pictures of my cute little nephew.

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Unwelcome Guest

When we got home the other day, after running tons of errands, our next door neighbors were outside talking with Grandpa.  The little 10 year old boy, Ryan, came over to talk to Benjamin while I was getting the others out of the car and into the house.  It looked like it was going to rain any minute so I was in a big hurry to get the kids in the house and the car unloaded.  In my haste, I knocked over a box full of packing peanuts.  It went all over the garage floor and was being blown in all directions.  This was the last thing I needed.  While I’m cleaning up, Ryan comes over and announces to me that he’s going to come over and play for an hour.  This was news to me and I told him that I was about to put the kids down for naps and there wouldn’t be much to do.  I don’t think he heard me.

He wanted to go downstairs and I told him to just stay up with Benjamin ’cause the other kids were going to take naps and they’ve been a little sick lately.  He didn’t listen to that either.  After putting the kids down, I had to literally hold his hand and take him upstairs.  I let Benjamin stay up, even though he really needed a nap to get over his little cough. 

Once we were upstairs Ryan was pretty much out of control.  He kept running all over the house, including Grandma and Grandpa’s bedroom (that’s a big no no!), getting Chip all wound up.  He wasn’t the quietest child either.  I had to keep asking him to stay in the Family room and not yell in the house.  The whole time this is going on, Benjamin’s sitting on the couch just starting at Ryan like he had gone crazy.  After a few minutes of nagging at the kid, he finally came and played a little with Benjamin.  I was so sad though, when Ryan started throwing and breaking Benjamin’s brand new Transformers that daddy just got him.  Ryan yelled at Benjamin when he tried to touch his little wrestling action figure saying “It’s too special!” but then turned around and kicked and threw Benjamin’s special toys.  When Ryan did that Benjamin spoke up, “Don’t do that to my toys.  We don’t hurt toys like that!” (sounds like something I would say, but was so happy that he felt the same way as me).  I told Benjamin to bring them to me and I would play with him.

So, Benjamin and I played while Ryan continued to yell and run around with Chip.  At one point I was about to throw him out of the house for kicking Chip.  I told him not to do it and he responded, “Oh, it’s okay!  I do it all the time to my dog Baxter!  He’s just a dog.”  Ryan might not be alive if Grandpa had seen that.

After a while, I started to tell Ryan that he was going to have to go home pretty soon ’cause we’re going to be eating dinner in a little while.  Ryan told me that he could go home and tell him mom that he was going to stay here for dinner, I guess she doesn’t mind.  I just said that we’d see.

I started making dinner when Grandma got home.  She and Ryan talked for a little bit, then she asked me what I was making for dinner.  I told her Chicken Noodle Soup with ham and swiss croissants.  Ryan pipped up and told us that he loved chicken noodle soup, it’s his favorite, “I’ll run home and tell my mom that I’m staying for dinner!”  (can you believe this!)  I told him that we really didn’t have enough food for quests.  “But it’s my favorite!”  “When you go home you can tell your mom that you want chicken noodle soup and she might make it for you tomorrow.”  I didn’t know what else to say or do.  I was at a total loss with this kid.  He was relentless!

Finally, Grandpa came in and settled everything by telling Ryan to go home.  I’m was so relieved.  When Ryan finally left I made the decision that Ryan is never coming over to play again!  I think it’s important to have children that are of similar age and similar interests playing together.  Ryan was bored with Benjamin and Benjamin had no idea what Ryan was all about.

A little later, I had to pull Benjamin aside and explain to him that even though he saw Ryan hitting Chip and running around the living room and being mean to toys that doesn’t mean Benjamin should do the same.  I understood completely, and I’m so glad!


Filed under Benjamin, Brianna, Johnson Family, Kids

Benjamin’s Pictures

We finally got a camera that works!  We had to take back the camera that we got him for Christmas.  For some reason it wasn’t working at all.  So we finally got it set up and working.  There were over 60 pictures on the first day!  I’m guessing this was the right gift to get him.


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Church Dialogue

Church today was awesome!  I can’t paraphrase so I’m going to write the dialogue out for you.

Benjamin: “Mom, can we color?”
Mom: “After the sacrament.”
Benjamin: “Okay.”

Benjamin (after the sacrament): “Mommy, can I color now?”
Mom: “How about we read our scriptures for a minute.”
Benjamin: “Okay.”

As I pass out Benjamin’s old and Emma’s new scripturesout I could hear, “Yessss!  Oh look, Emma.  You’re new scriptures.  That’s so great!  Give me five!”  (They exchange high fives :) ).

Benjamin: “I love you, Emma!  You’re my best friend!”

Emma: “Me too!”  (Benjamin puts his arm over her shoulders and gives her a hug).

I think I just about died when he said that.  My heart grew three sizes in that moment to see my children getting along so well and proclaiming their love and devotion to each other.

As the two of them look through their scriptures, Jared brings out his new scriptures from Christmas.  The two kids look at them and go, “WOW, those are big, Daddy!”.  Jared just smiles then starts showing them the pictures and maps in his book.  It was so cute to see my little nerdy family get so excited about the scriptures.  I’m excited about this years goal to read the entire Book of Mormon as a family by the end of the year.  They love the scriptures so much and this will only increase that love!

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Filed under Benjamin, Emma, Jared

Can’t touch him!

Jared and I were getting the kids ready for bed tonight when I saw the perfect opportunity to share with you some of the joy and laughter that Joseph brings into our lives each day.  The kids got a toy hummer for Christmas and it plays the song “Can’t touch this”.  They push the button all the time and start dancing.  Joseph has just recently started using his hips and this is what happens!



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Check it out

Benjamin went and rode his bike, officially for the first time!  You can see pics here at our school site!

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Did you have a cool mom when you were in H.S.?

Back in High School, did you say good things or bad things about your parents?  More specifically, your mother?  I remember some people telling me how cool their parents’ were and then I remember hear the opposite with others.  As I watch my little sister go into High School, and I see how she talks about my mom and the things that they do together, I’m starting to wonder what it is I need to be doing now to have a good “friend” relationship with my daughter when she gets to High School.  I want to be a “cool” mom for my children, but I don’t know what that really entails.  Have any suggestions?


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I finally reached the photographer that took our pictures out at Aliante back in October.  I love pictures and will try anything to get pictures of my family, especially ones of all five of us together.  I love that we’re all together and happy!  Don’t the kids look cute?



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Jared’s Pen

Jared’s dad made a bunch of handcrafted gifts for members in the family.  I never posted a picture of the pen he gave Jared.  It’s a beautiful fountain pen made of ebony wood.  I thought that was quite an interesting choice considering the image lasered in the side of it.  Jared has been asking his dad for a few years now and never received one.  When he opened the box, which was equally breathtaking, he said it was well worth the wait :) .


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House Hunting

I know a lot of you are living in Vegas right now.  I’m calling on you for help.

The house hunt is starting up (we’re still going to wait until everything closes on our house) but I’m asking for your help right now.  If you have a friend or someone in your neighborhood that is selling their house could you let us know, please?  Las Vegas is a really large city and I have no idea where to start.  Is your side of town good?  If there are pros and/or cons, let me know.  I’m just trying to get a feel for where we’d like to live.  I’ve heard good things about Summerlin, but I don’t know if there are added fees like SIDS or LIDS to pay because it’s a master planned community.  Is your community close to the freeway?  Is there shopping nearby or do you have to drive miles?  I’ve also heard great things about Southern Highlands, but I don’t know if it’s too far south for Jared to commute in to town every day.

I’m just in the dark here and I would appreciate any feedback.

Thanks a million! 

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Pictures of Little Johnny

Today we got an email from John telling us that all is well with Camille and Baby Johnny (they’re not quite sure that he looks like an L.J.).


He gave us a quick recap of their busy day yesterday:

3:00 pm – Camille’s water broke as she was being checked by the doctor.
3:-3:30 pm – Lunch from “soup or salad”.  (We had to get something because the hospital Nazi’s were never going to let Camille eat once checked in, except ice cubes of course!)
3:30-6:00 pm – Check-in and wait for labor to kick in (no pitocin needed)
6:00-10:00 pm – Labor pains before epidural
10:00-12:30 pm – Labor movements after epidural
12:31am – Lester John Johnson V was born!
We are so excited for them, that everything is well and that they were able to have another healthy child.  He attached pictures for all of us who couldn’t be there with them to see the new arrival.  When mom and dad Johnson saw the pictures they both thought that he looked surprisingly like John.  I’m surprised at how old he looks.  He has the look of a very handsome toddler.
(click on images to enlarge)
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