Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Tradition #2

Tonight for Family Home Evening we decorated our gingerbread house. This tradition started when I was a kid. Each year my brothers and sisters and I would put togeher and decorate our own gingerbread house made out of graham crackers. For the first few years we were married, I made Ryan carry on this tradition with me, and he and I would make gingerbread houses out of graham crackers. Last year I decided to do a big gingerbread house made out of real gingerbread, instead of the small ones, and now that is becoming our family tradition.
Making the gingerbread and cutting out all the pieces is alot more time consuming and labor intensive than the graham cracker ones, but I kinda like all of us decorating the house together. Plus I like the challenge of doing it homemade, and not a store bought kit. Maybe in a few years, as the kids get older, I'll go back to the graham.
I started the whole process about 2:30pm this afternoon, and the last pieces of house came out of the oven about 5:30 pm! When Ryan got home from work I put him in charge of putting the house together while I made dinner (waffles). After dinner we started the process of decorating. Ryan was a good sport and lasted about 45 minutes with the kids. After they were sufficiently sugared up, we put them to bed, and I finished decorating it myself. (I secretly love decorating the house, I just couldn't leave it when the kids went to bed, I had to add more to it!)
Putting the house together

Ryan is the construction major, that's why he puts the house
together. I'm too impatient and don't let the icing dry, and the
walls cave in.

Adding the candy!

Ta Dah!

Ryan got a little bored at the end and gave our snowmen red hot eyes
and samurai swords. Apparently our house needs protection
from invaders.

The finished product after I did my last minute additions.

Last T-Ball Game

All the boys waiting to bat
Saturday was Clark's last t-ball game.  I think it was the only game where we had every boy on the team there! In a way I'm glad it's over- now we have our Saturday's back, but I know it was really good for Clark. He keeps asking me what he's gonna do next- I'm not sure I'm ready for whats next!
Clark taking a swing

After the game we had a little awards ceremony where all the boys received their
trophies from the coach. And what awards ceremony is complete without treats
and pizza?!

Clark and his trophy. He was so proud he carried it around all day.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Poor Kate

Yesterday morning Kate woke up with a little bit of a rash on her forehead and when we changed her clothes I noticed that she had some little bumps on her tummy and back.  I didn't think too much of it, thought she maybe had an allergic reaction to something and it would go away. As the day progressed it didn't go away, and in the afternoon the dots just exploded. They turned bright red and started spreading all over her tummy, back, arms and starting on her legs. I called my trusty sister Bridgett, who is a doctor, and she came over to look at her. She didn't recognize it at all and started calling doctor friends to get opinions. At this point I'm starting to freak out a little bit. Kate has been immunized for chicken pox, so I didn't think that could be it, but when Bridgett was stumped as to what it was, I started to get nervous. So then I started the debate of, 'should I take her to the ER tonight, or can it wait till the morning?'. About this time Ryan was waking up (yes, he's on nights again) and I asked him to give Kate a blessing. After the blessing we decided to just watch her through the night to make sure her mouth or throat didn't swell up and take her to the Pediatrician first thing in the morning.
These were taken last night. Her poor face is all red and swollen!
You think this is bad, it was twice that bad the next morning.
Ouch! It just looks like it hurts.
Since I was by myself last night, I set my alarm every 2 hours and got up to check on her. She was fine, but by this morning it had spread all over her face, in her ears and just looked horrible. I just wanted to cry for her. I got her an appointment first thing with our Pediatrician, Dr. Hayden, and my mom came and took Clark so I didn't have to take him to the doctors too. 
Turns out that it is hives. I didn't think it could be an allergic reaction because nothing has changed. She hasn't had any different foods, medications, nothing. So what Dr. Hayden says is that she probably got some kind of virus and instead of her body fighting it, it treated it like an allergy and had a massive allergic reaction. I had been giving her some allergy medicine that wasn't helping- come to find out I needed to give her 3 times what I was giving her! He also prescribed another type of allergy medicine and a steroid to help her body fight whatever it is. After the appointment we filled all the prescriptions, got some good anti-itch cream and I loaded her up with the drugs. Within an hour the bumps had gone from screaming red to soft pink and the swelling in her face had gone WAY down.
Dr. Hayden says that it will probably take about a week for it to go away, but she is not contagious in any way- it just looks horrible! By this afternoon she was starting to act herself again and get some energy back. It's still super itchy, so I think we'll go through a few tubes of anti- itch medicine by the time we're done.
It is just awful to watch your child suffer, and see things happen to their body and you have no way of stopping it or making it better. I know this is a very small thing, and it makes my heart go out to those parents who have, or have had, truly sick kids. What a painful experience. It also makes me grateful for modern medicine and good doctors. It only took an hour at the doctors office and a few minutes to get a prescription filled to make her feel better. I can't even imagine what people went through watching their kids suffer and having no medicine to give them. I am blessed!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Tradition #1

One thing I love about Christmas is all the traditional things we do. I've been looking at our calendar and trying to determine when we will fit them all in! Tonight we bought and decorated our Christmas tree. Yes, we are real tree people. They are messy and sometimes they die sooner than you'd like, but again, it's tradition. When I was growing up we used to go up to the mountains the day after Thanksgiving and cut down a Christmas tree. Ryan and I wanted to do that this year, but didn't think about getting a permit until it was too late. So we went to our favorite tree lot at Red Mountain High School. (their trees are awesome- they keep them in water all the time, and it benefits the band) 
Here's a look at our Family Home Evening activity tonight:
We got a smokin deal on this tree. It has quite the bare spot on the back,
but it's at the bottom and we knew it would be hidden. Ryan had to trim a few
branches at the bottom, but not too shabby.

After Ryan and I got the lights and ribbon on, Kate and Clark went to town with the ornaments.

Ta Da! There are a bit more ornaments around the bottom than the top- but hey, that's what
you get when kids decorate!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

London's Swim

My sister Heather (London's Mom) and I
Saturday November 20th was the first ever London's Swim. My family has been doing London's Run for 5 years now, and just this year we realized; we are a family of swimmers- not runners! So Nancy headed up this swim-a-thon to raise more money for our cause. A swim-a-thon is basically a set day and time where you to try to swim 200 laps in 2 hours. You ask for pledges from friends or family to donate money for each lap you swim or a set amount for all 200 laps. I was not very ambitious this year and just paid the minimum donation myself to go and swim! Clark had a t-ball game that morning- so I got to the pool about an hour late. I still managed to swim 140 laps in an hour. For being 6 months pregnant, I thought that wasn't too bad, but I paid for it later! I was so exhausted that night and felt sick the next day- but all for a good cause!  
My oldest sister Aimee and Kate
Brother-in-law Warren (London's Dad) counted laps for us

Kate came to London's Swim with me while Clark and Ryan
stayed at home and changed the oil in the Tahoe

My Mom and nephew Caleb

My sister Nancy in the middle

My brother Dave was the DJ for the underwater music system

Heather and I. Warren couldn't tell us apart when we both had
our goggles on!

Niece Nikki

Niece Hannah

Monday, November 29, 2010


Jessie and Woody
( This is # 4 post of catching up)We had quite the festive Halloween this year- it lasted a whole week long! My mom does a Halloween Family Home Evening, and has since I was a kid. It has evolved as our family has grown from 10 people to almost 40- but the basic concept is the same. All the kids dress up- and any of the adults who are still cool enough to dress up. We have dinner, play games and have a pinata. 
Cake walk with all the cousins

Clark eating his apple from the 'bobbing for apples'
Kate and Ella spent most of the night on the teeter totter.

My brother Dave helping Clark with the Pinata

Kate's turn!

Next that week was the Johnson pumpkin carving contest. We always get together a few days before Halloween to eat pigs in a blanket and carve pumpkins. Some of the spouses carve their own pumpkin- but I just get the guts out and Ryan carves it. I's a big competition to see who has the most creative pumpkin. The boys go all out. It takes them hours to complete it.

Auntie Jenny and Uncle Jeffy

Grandma gave the grandkids little pumpkins to paint.
Clark, Trevor and Kate with their painted pumpkins

In addition to our Monday and Thursday night parties, Ryan's work has a Halloween office party every year. It's basically just for the kids to come and trick or treat around to all the offices and cubbies. They serve lunch and give us a chance to show off our cute kids.

All the kids and parents at the Okland party

Last but not least was the ward Trunk or Treat. This was quite the headache for me- as I was still the activities committee chairman. There was drama about the date, and we ended up combining with another ward on Saturday night. There was tons of food, games and of course candy. Kate and Clark got so much candy that night we didn't bother taking them out on Halloween. I also got this great idea from my friend Heather, called the Pumpkin Fairy. The kids put their basket of candy outside their door at night, and the Pumpkin Fairy comes and exchanges their candy for some type of prize. We let Kate and Clark enjoy their candy for a few days, and then the 'Pumpkin Fairy' took their candy and left them each a new movie. 
Halloween night we had some friends over for a 'Halloween' dinner. We had dinner in a pumpkin, witches fingers (sugar cookies shaped like fingers) , bones (stick pretzels with mini marshmallows on each end dipped in white chocolate), dirt cups and punch with frozen juice hands. To top off the night we watched 'Nightmare before Christmas'- because to me- that is a Halloween movie, not a Christmas movie!

Kate & Clark's 4th Birthday

( Yes, still catching up)
Kate has always been about 3 inches smaller than
Clark, but not this birthday. She is only 1/2 and
inch behind him!
Kate and Clark turned 4 on October 23rd! How is it possible that my babies are 4 years old? As I look back over the last 4 years, I am glad to be where I am today, but do miss my cute little babies. I guess that's why I'm having another one!

Since  their birthday fell on Saturday this year, I decided to throw them a real birthday party. It's hard to know what to do for opposite sex twins, as you can't do anything gender specific. Luckily for me I have a party planning sister, and Nancy came up with the idea for their party. We did a carnival with all sorts of little games. We also did relay races, cake and ice cream, presents and even a pinata.
Here's some of the set up of the games. We Auntie Lorette did the ring toss, my niece Hannah did face painting and Ryan at the go fish.
Here's the duck pond game, Auntie Lisa, Ellie, Auntie Amanda and Jack
Here's the awesome bean bag toss Ryan made the morning of their birthday.  Just one more reason I love that man. 
Here's all the kids patiently waiting for the birthday cake. I made 2 ice cream rolls (tradition in the Johnson family)   and let Kate and Clark pick out the ice cream. I'm glad I made my own instead of paying an arm and a leg for a cake- since none of the kids ate it anyways! ( Check out the unicorn pinata- that was the only one Kate and Clark could both agree on. Sorry- no pics of busting the pinata- I was trying to hard to keep the kids safe with the baseball bat!)
Opening presents! 
They both had a great day. We were planning on taking them where ever they wanted for dinner- and with a little persuasion from Mom and Dad- we got Barros take out and watched "How to Train Your Dragon". Thanks to everyone who helped me throw it together and all our friends who came. Especially thank you to Nana for letting us use her house!

First T-Ball Game

(This is old, his first game was October 16th. He will be done with his season in another 2 weeks)
Today was Clark's first T-Ball game, or should I say orgainized chaos on a baseball field! It actually wasn't too bad, although there were as many Dads on the field as there were kids.
Clark was up at 6am, jersey in hand. He's been dying to wear it since he got it Thursday at practice. He played pretty well- he was all excited the first 2 innings- running after every ball, then towards the end he just got tired and stood there. I can't blame him, it was so hot in the sun, I got tired just sitting in my chair!

After the game I asked Clark what his favorite part was, and no surprise, he said," the treats!" He thought that getting a treat just for playing t-ball was pretty awesome.