A New Year, A New Start

I’ve always been horrible at keeping a journal.  I have about 20 different journals in a tub in my garage but none of them are finished.  I love to write but writing has never been my forte, if that makes sense.  I would start a new journal in hopes that the new cover or the new design and layout would spark some long forgotten ability to write and keep it going, all to no success.  That was until a dear friend of mine started keeping a blog.

Her and her husband lived in the same apartment complex as us back in California.  We were in the same ward, went through pregnancy mishaps together but then schooling and jobs sent them to live in Texas.  With Jared in law school there was no way we could afford to visit and were subject to keep in touch through email.  That was until she started keeping a blog and I could check in on her whenever I had time.  I loved being able to be a fly on her wall and I learned so much about what life can throw at you as a young mother and wife and through her amazing example I discovered new and different ways to approach and face it.  It wasn’t until we moved to the other side of the country that I decided it was the perfect opportunity to start a blog of my own so that family and friends back on the west coast could see how we were doing.  It also saved on the phone bills:) .

For seven years I’ve managed to keep a pretty faithful account of my life and the life of my family on a regular basis on this blog.  It is, in its own right, a small sort of miracle that I’ve been able to keep a journal for this long especially since past experience has shown it to be pretty impossible.  I love that I’m able to read back and remember the kids through both story and picture.  I have referred back to past posts on more than one occasion to see if I had similar situations with the kids as they each grow up.  There are stories and little tid-bits of not only our family’s life but of those closest to us and who have made an impact, for good and bad.  It is a medium that has worked for me and consequently it’s not going to change.

In an effort to print off my blog I’ve noticed how much easier it would have been if I had several smaller blogs instead of one massive one.  So, I’m opening up a new blog for the year 2013!  It’s the same address just with 2013 attached to the end (jaredjohnsonfam2013.wordpress.com).  This blog will still remain right where it is but I won’t be adding any more to it, instead I’ll be refocusing my efforts on the new blog and recording all our adventures from this new year!

If you’ve enjoyed following our little family and our crazy lives feel more than free to come over and continue to follow us!  It’s been an amazing journey being a young wife, mother of four, and trying to make every experience our family has the best that I can offer them.  Happy 2013!!!

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Hanging by a thread

I don’t know, I feel like I’m losing all control. Some days are great but it seems like they’re fewer and farther apart these days. Maybe it’s the holidays. They always seem to get pretty crazy. I think today I had just had enough. I had to walk out of the house and down the street to the park to cool off. I’m just tired of doing every… little… thing… for my children who are perfectly capable of doing it themselves.  I was perfectly happy knowing I needed to do those things for them when they weren’t able to do it themselves.  I loved it in fact.  But as the kids have grown I’ve required more self-reliance from them.  I don’t make them do outrageously difficult things but I do require some help around the house. But their work seems to have gotten worse over the last few weeks. For example, I’ll clean up their rooms after they go to bed only to have them wake up and DESTROY it before they even get ready in the morning.  Then I have two hours before they get home to clean it back up and do all the other things I need to do to make it seem like I had a successful day only to have them come home and create havoc again.

So, now with all this frustration being written out while I’m sitting here at the park it doesn’t seem as dire and horrific as I was feeling it was just half an hour ago. Thinking about everything that has been frustrating me and with taking the time to write it out I can’t help but cool down. Maybe the fact that it’s 50° outside and I’m sitting on a cold bench has something to do with that:) .  It could also have something to do with the beautiful, clear night and the fact that I can see the stars.  Living in the city (even when you’re 10 miles outside) doesn’t allow for the chance to see the stars.  The sheer magnitude of it, even this close to the city, is breathtaking! You can’t help but feel so small and insignificant but somehow, in a very weird way, feel so important and fundamental. There has to be something that I need to learn from having these frustrating moments with my children. I might not realize it yet but in time I will.If there’s anything I’ve learned over the years of doing things and redoing things is that there’s always a reason.  It’s just whether or not you’re willing to open your eyes to see it.  So that’s what I’ll have to keep reminding myself until this “phase” is over and keep reminding me that the children are learning too and as long as we keep reading our scriptures and saying our prayers as a family we’ll pull through.

I think I just found my “time-out” spot!!!  This was awesome!

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Snow globe Cake

IMG_1191Tonight was difficult!  It’s going to be that way for the rest of the month.  It’s just something new that we have to adjust ourselves to. Jared has tithing settlement all this month and so we don’t get to see him at all on Sundays. Tonight was the First Presidency Christmas Devotional which the kids and I got to watch, in full!  It was quite the accomplishment especially since I’ve been having a rough couple of weeks with the kids and their behavior.

The devotional had great stories and thoughts about how to make our Christmas experience better.  They talked about being a good receiver which I thought was really important for the kids to hear.

As the devotional was finishing up and I was getting leftover cake prepared for after dinner, Jacob asked if it was for daddy.  I said it was for them, the kids.  Emma must have over heard because she came in and agreed with what I guess Jacob was trying to say.  She said we should bring it to daddy since he was working hard and wouldn’t be home ’til late.  I asked the boys if that was okay and everyone was on board.  We gussied it up a bit and within 10 minutes we had a beautiful snow globe cake with the baby Jesus at the center.  It would be the perfect dessert to give the bishopric after hearing the devotional and to kick off our Christmas holiday.

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Filed under Cakes, Christmas, Church Stuff, Jared, Kids

Special Delivery from the North Pole

It has been a wonderful start to the Christmas holiday!  Last week we got a package from The North Pole delivered to our doorstep.  It was torture for the kids to come home from school, see it on the doorstep, see who it was from and not rip it open right then and there.  The package was so amazing and everything that you’d want from a mysterious package this time of year:) .  It had stamps from all over the world but the best one said “Special Delivery from the North Pole”.  I mean, come on!  How great is that!?!

Well, we hadn’t even come to Thanksgiving yet and I’m a big believer in letting each holiday have it’s time so Jared and I made the kids wait until tonight, after Thanksgiving dinner, to open it.  When it came time to actually open it Jared and I were a little giddy.  We opened the box to find an even prettier box with a gold “Made in Santa’s Workshop” seal.  With each layer the kids were squealing and Jared and I were inching closer to get a better look.  We finally got the whole thing opened and saw that Santa sent us an ELF!!!

He is one of the cutest little things you’ve ever seen.  The kids names him FRED!!!  There was a book about him and explained all the rules, well the one rule – DON’T TOUCH!!!  If you touch him his magic will disappear and he can’t fly back to Santa and tell him how good or bad you’ve been.

At one point while we were reading the book it said, “Tell me your thoughts and wishes and I’ll keep a list”.  Right after that Emma looked at Fred and said, “Fred, I really want a baby sister!”  Uh oh!!!  Jared and didn’t really know how to respond to that one especially since it broke my heart just listening to her fervently asking.  We explained, again, how I can’t have any more babies but that we could enjoy our friends’ babies and get ready for babysitting.  Oh so sad😦

Well this whole elf thing should be quite the experience.  I’m hoping it will become one of those treasured traditions that the kids can’t wait to have with their own kids one day.

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Filed under Christmas, Family, Holidays, Kids

BFF stage

Emma has this little friend that lives down the street from us.  They ride the bus home together and since her house is on the way to ours from the gate they walk home together too.  She’s been over three times in just the last week, every time choosing to come over to our house.  Her mother and father are divorced and her dad described the mother as a Disney mom, absent from the picture.  Her dad is very involved and came over to meet us and see who her daughter has been spending so much time with.

Emma has had other little friends but nothing quite like the little friendship she has with Taylor.  They are such girly girls playing dress up and doing each other’s makeup.  They love when I paint their nails and helping me in the kitchen.  They helped make Thanksgiving rolls the other day and were excited to see what they made.

Taylor came over the other day with this adorable Best Friends necklace and asked me to help her put it on.  They went back and forth over who would get what color.  I think I might have been a little more excited about the necklace than either of the girls:) .  It just signified so much to me that my daughter is getting older.  She gets baptized in 6 months time and I can’t believe how big she’s getting.  I still remember her being this tiny little dark-haired thing when she was 5 days old at Megan and Mike’s wedding.  She has changed so much, although she’s still a little wisp of a thing:) .

I’m so excited to be stepping into this phase of life with my daughter.  She’s so much like me in that she loves to read, do crafty things, and is perfectly content with solitude but also so much unlike me that it will be such an adventure!  She loves to talk on the phone, something I hardly ever did as a child which is exactly how my dad knew something was up when I would talk to Jared for hours on the phone:) .  Oh, I just love being a mom and watching my children grow but also celebrate the now!

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Coat Shopping

Tonight for my date with Emma I took her shopping for a new coat.  She outgrew hers by the end of last winter.  For some strange reason it’s starting to get colder out here in the desert.  They are starting to put cold weather clothing out in the stores and so I thought it would be nice to go and get a coat now, when we have lots of choices, rather than wait for everything to go off the shelves.

We chose to hit Target!  There were so many cute options, some that are not even practical but they look so stinkin’ cute that you have to at least try them on.  We grabbed hats and gloves and scarves and coats and hit the dressing room.

Emma is so ridiculously  cute I couldn’t help but snap a few pictures of her trying on the clothes.  We ended up getting both hats and the pink coat.  The blue pea coat didn’t stand a chance once she found out that the pink one zipped apart and turned into two coats!!!  She was sold!

So now we’re ready for the cold weather but knowing Vegas it will get warm for the next few weeks until we hit December.

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Filed under Dates, Emma

Twilight Finale

I spent the morning trying to get tickets for a group of 25 people to see the new Breaking Dawn movie.  It’s the final Twilight movie and with it comes a great sense of finality.  This is something that me and a group of men and women in my ward have done religiously for the last 4 years.  The fun thing is that we’ll just transfer that energy into the new Hunger Games movies:) .

It’s been super fun to do this with everyone, but this time will be even a little more special because Jared planned for me to go to the marathon that whole day!  I’m nervous and quite excited about it.  I’ll send the kids off to school and then Jared will take over at lunch time while I go and watch 5 movies in a row!  It’s going to be a little overwhelming and I don’t know if I can sit there for that long without getting a little antsy but I’m sure going to try to enjoy myself.  I’ll just have to make sure that I’ve planned for everything and anything and even if something comes up I’ll only be 10 minutes away.

So almost 30 minutes after walking up to the ticket counter at RAVE I walked away with a stack of 25 tickets and a whole lot of evil looks from people in line behind me.  Oh, well.  I know the group I’ll be with will enjoy themselves.

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Filed under Brianna, Friends