It's the little things, right?

Sometimes in life, isn't the littlest things that can brighten our day and bring us so much joy? I am trying in my life to find those little things, and for some reason this just really makes me smile.

For Christmas my mom got me something I have been wanting for a while, but didnt want to buy. Have you ever seen that infomercial about the huge cupcake maker?? I have, and I LOVE IT!! I don't know why, but I think it is so funny, and just about the coolest thing ever. Well, my mom came through, and this last week I was able to make a big cupcake for the first time. It was so fun, and I can't wait to make another. Just be warned, if you have a bday coming up soon, you can pretty much plan on a huge cupcake from your friend Tonii! :)


About a weekend ago we got the whole Johnson clan (well almost the whole clan, we missed you Barney's and Jared and Camille!) to go bowling together. We had some coupons for free bowling so off we went. Unfortunately the shoe rental is now as much as a game of bowling, but still a pretty good deal.

The kids were so excited and had a really great time. It was fun to get out and do something a little bit different, especially in such a high-class establishment ;) (ok, the bowling alley was really dumpy, but free is free!) Here are some pics for your viewing pleasure:

Highlights of bowling:
Beating Paul quite handily :)
Getting pretty confident only to have Crista kick my trash in the end
My favorite joke of the night "get that bowling ball out of your shirt Jen!"
All the little girls holding hands and dancing around, so excited!!
Spending some quality time with the fam!



What a fun place our local aquarium is!! It's nothing compared to SeaWorld, but for young kids I think it is perfect. A year pass is very reasonable, and the kids can run around and you don't have to worry too much about them getting lost (although I have lost my nephew there before....I still feel bad about that Camille :)

On my fun at home blog I posted about this fun little activity, but I simply made an Excel spreasheet scavenger hunt with stickers for when they found the different ocean creatures. Skylar loved it and it added something a little different to the usual outing. My cute sister in law and her kids joined us, aren't they darling?! Skylar and Raegan are two peas in a pod, and even though Kendall and Kade don't look TOO thrilled, I'm pretty sure they had a lot of fun too! :)


I LOVE me a plan!

Don't you??!! Nothing makes me feel better than having a plan, a system, something to follow. It makes me feel much more organized and on top of things :) However, as wonderful as I am at coming up with these fantastic plans of mine, keeping them up is quite a different story. That is why I decided to post some of our most successful "systems" with the hope that this will give me some accountability. If I post I am doing something on my blog I better actually be doing it, right? :)

Even though shes only 4, one of the biggest arguments I have with Skylar is what she's going to wear :) She has a very, um...., distinct sense of style that isn't always weather or season appropriate. Was that a nice enough way of saying it? :) I have started picking out 5 outfits a week and putting them in this sweater organizer. On Sunday nights I fill it up, and then every morning Skylar gets to choose what outfit she wears. It has been great so far, and has cut out SO much contention. It all just goes back to letting them have choices, but only with options that are acceptable to you! :) I am no parenting expert, but it works for us!

FOOD! Is it just our house or are you always talking about food?! My kids are always asking me what they can eat, whining that they are hungry, wanting treats, etc. I was starting to get really frustrated so we started doing these snack boxes. Every night before the girls go to bed I fill up their snack boxes with food for the next day. An example would be a banana, yogurt, string cheese, fruit snack, pretzels, celery sticks, and a 100 calorie pack of ding dongs. The rules are the kids can eat whatever they want, whenever they want, but when the food is gone it is GONE and they don't get anymore. This has worked out surprisingly well. I have been impressed with how they will save the yummiest "treats" for later in the day, and how much they enjoy having options to pick from. Anytime they are hungry they just go to their snackboxes and have at it. One more source of contention eliminated! :)

Finally this is our book of activities! I have started compiling different activities for different themes, and I usually try to pick a theme a week to focus on. Inside the binder I have sheet protectors that are labeled with that weeks theme. Things included are fun recipes, matching games, coloring pages, crafts, songs and poems. I started doing this right after I had Kendall so I am getting a good amount of themes. My goal is to have 40 different themes with activities, then I can add some if I have time, but if not our week will already have some fun things planned. This has been a great resource for me, and allows me to PLAN ways to do fun things with my kids :)

Well, there you have it!! These are probably really basic things, but these systems have sure made our house a more fun and peaceful place to be!


Welcome 2010!!

I LOVE the start of a new year!! My list of resolutions is a mile long, and I can't wait to get going on them :) Somewhere towards the bottom of that list is keeping up on my blogs. Since I know I will never catch up, I am going to skip posting Christmas and all of that fun, and just start fresh again!!

I have a feeling 2010 is going to be a great year for our family. Skylar will be starting Kindergarten next year and Kendall preschool. I (for once:) have more kids out of diapers than in, WAHOO!! And maybe, just maybe, we'll start working on another addition for the family :) Big things are happening with Pauls job and its exciting to see where they may take him (and us!)

Last year I picked one word to work on for the year. It was balance, and honestly, I think I did ok. Thinking about how I was last year, and I how I am today, I DO feel more balanced. I wanted to choose another word for this year and after some experiences I had this last week it has been very obvious. And the new word is....


Kind of weird, right? :) But once again, I have seen firsthand how our lives pass by much too quickly. I want to look back on 2010 and KNOW that I embraced every challenge, every trial, every accomplishment that came our way. I want to feel like I treasured and embraced the mundane moments of motherhood that now can feel tedious, but that I know in my later years I will miss. I want to embrace my own personal weaknesses until I can conquer them and they become my strengths. I want to embrace my family relationships that may need a little more work, but that will be that much sweeter for it.

So on that note, since I am now "embracing" our new church time (1:00:) I'm going to go cuddle my kiddos in my bed. Happy New Year everyone!