Friday, February 26, 2010

Feminar Recap

Drove over to Feminar in L'view this evening. I'm not gonna lie. I went for the sole purpose of worshipping with Mandisa. There. I said it. She rocks. I want to be her friend.

But they actually had speakers! And I gladly took a few notes.

Lysa TerKeurst spoke about living in the hope of God's will for our lives.

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
James 1:2

Here's what she shared:

We are commanded to live

1) When we face the most painful circumstances, we must realize that God is allowing these trials (which we are to consider pure joy) for possibly one of three reasons:
a. His protection from some scenario far worse than the present.
b. His provision into some situation far better than the present.
c. His process to maturity where you will "lack nothing".

2) We live prayerfully by DAILY depending on God for our needs. Like God's provision of manna to the Israelites in the desert. Our "portion" is where Divine strength meets our desperate need.

3) We live thankfully by approaching life with "I am able".
Instead of "I have to wash the dishes. I have to go to church. I have to exercise." A grateful heart says, "I am able to wash dishes. I am able to go to church. I am able to exercise."

She shared her personal journey through pain and heartache, and reminded us that "brokenness is universal". Stories vary, but Jesus came to heal the broken. We can cry out to Him and find that He is our Deliverer.

Friday Fave

Ok, I cannot stop identifying more of "my favorite things", so now it may have to be a weekly installment.

My first - of potentially many - Friday Faves is

THIS framed photo grouping that James made me for Christmas.

It spells JOHNSON!! See it?

He took each photo and then printed, matted, framed, and delivered.

Proverbs 22:1 "A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pucker Up

My child is addicted to Ch@p$tick!!!

"Start it off with love, joy, peace
and end it with blessed. mmmWah!"

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

These Are a Few of my Favorite Things

Today at MOPS we shared our favorite things. I'm sure I have more, but tonight this is what's on the brain.

If you've been to my house once or read my blog twice, you probably already know this one. When they go on sale, I stock WAY up...Kath, am I right??

Kitchen Lemon Hand soap

And from the same company, I recently found this treasured scent...

Coconut Lime Verbena Wall Flower

And for the cold & flu season...or allergies which shove us straight into "year round"...even my kids request this nasal "flusher-outer".


For Children's books, I have two favorite authors/illustrators.

Iza Trapini

Jan Brett

Now, for the winky-links...These are the faves I shared with MOPS today.

I am an uncertified "dealer" of Mary's "Creme Brulee" Candles to more than a few friends & family in the lower 48. (Which means I snag them at our local W@lM@rt by the dozens and take them to family gatherings) Yummy!

And for organizational ease and budgetary bliss, e-mealz pdf menus are THE way to go! I subscribed for several months a couple years ago and still enjoy my printed copies stored in a binder. Check it out.

Lastly, I enjoy a skillfully-written story that brings both a giggle and a tear.
This recent post written by my longtime friend, (& our mentor mom)
Jeanne will bless your socks off!


"I came to give you life - life in all its fullness."
-Jesus, John 10:10

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Time Capsulette

Elizabeth Anne is 8 1/2 months old. She is so tiny. She is happy and patient and beautiful, but just so little. The comments from people are coming more often. We go for her 9 month check up in a couple weeks and we'll make sure she's good. "SOMEbody has to be in the 5th percentile!" Liz's faves: Cheerios in the high chair, GoFish dvd, pulling up using people's two fingers as handle bars...and ahhhh yes, speaking of two fingers...mmmmmm good.

Mari Alice is 3 1/2. She has been "almost 4" since the day after her last birthday, so it's nice to know that we can now round up and be truthful. She enjoys her maze book and writing her name. She likes boggle jr. and her kitchen filled with playdough. She likes to eat "chicken" -her universal term for meat, salad and all sorts of fruit, but NO orange potatoes!

Ashlin Rae is 7. She is queen of consistency. She keeps a calendar, updates the grocery list, studies her sunday school lesson and rarely has a messy room. She LOVES playing on her basketball team...especially with Dad & LP coaching. Her reading and writing skills have rocketed this year and 2nd grade is just around the corner.

Ardyn Grace is 9. What a lovely young lady she is becoming! She has a distinct awareness of style and fondness for fashion. Different shoes and earrings for every day...these are what dreams are made of. She loves science, poetry, music & art. She is excellent at caring for her little sisters and she is a very good friend.

Brendan Luke is 12. With deer season behind him, he's ready to focus on baseball. He loves reading books, especially history. He's my number one grocery guy. He can take half the list and meet me back with a buggy full of goods. He looks forward to 7th grade and has keen senses...smell, taste, [over]hearing, style and humor.

Landen Paul is 14. He loves to fish and is excited to be dusting off the batting helmet for baseball this season. He loves the outdoors...this we know for sure. He is finishing one of his best semesters of school ever. He is a confident babysitter and a pretty good cook.

Oscar Dog is good. He likes to run and play and chase and bark...and lounge. He knows not to walk of the baby's quilt, but does not see a problem with resting his bearded chin on the far corner. As "head of ranch security" his recent challenges have included the internet guys, the terminix guy, the septic guy, the flocks of black birds thieving seeds from the yard, and several birthday parties and get-togethers that far exceeded the acceptable limit of "intruders".

Philip is almost 39. We've got a few months, but still. He has had a busy year at work already. He loves what he does during the work week and he loves what he does for fun. He is Captain Bedtime and I love that. He reads, he sings, he prays, he tickles. And in the morning it's literally, "Rise & Shine". A boisterous musical delivery that defies melodic pitch and gentle interpretation. The dog growls, the kids groan & plead with him to stop...and I just grin and put on the coffee.

I am 38 1/2 exactly. I love to cook and clean and read and write and walk around the block. MP3 musical is in two weeks and I'm looking forward to it's success. I am settling into the notion that we will homeschool through the secondary grades. There will be no more infants, and everyone involved agrees we have a good thing going. So, to answer the top 3 questions posed by interested bystanders and concerned citizens...
"No, we are not trying to be the Duggars...just the Johnsons."
"Yes, we're gonna keep homeschooling."
"Yes, I know she's so tiny!"

Psalm 62
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.
Trust in the Lord at all times, O people;
Pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.

Friday, February 19, 2010

In Review

So the boys & I just finished watching "Wait Until Dark" - the old Audrey Hepburn suspense thriller about a blind woman who falls prey to a home invasion of con artists, drug dealers, and murderers.

As Landen was processing all the anxious moments he had fearfully endured, he assessed: "Man, things woulda been a whole lot easier if she hadn't been blind!"

(Join us again next Friday night as we explore further intricacies of character development and plot resolution with LP.)

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I found this post from 2006. Three treasured women in my life were facing various trials and challenges then. Despite the challenges that continue to present themselves today, I am greatly encouraged by God's incredible faithfulness and His complete provision for "those who fear Him".

"Large & In Charge"

I was talking with my friend "Kelly". She and her family relocated recently and during the process, her one, continuous prayer was that everything would work out smoothly. Months into the process, looking back, "smoothly" has not made the list of adjectives describing her experience....not even once. If it could go wrong or be delayed or tossed into the air, it did and was. She has put her life into the Father's loving hands. He will give her strength and peace and continue to bless her.

I visited with my friend, "Sue" the other day. She hasn't asked the Lord for anything grand or specific. Yet, within the last few months, she has received wonderfully surprising news of great joy....followed by equally surprising news of great tragedy. She has put her life into the Father's loving hands. He will comfort her and continue to bless her.

My friend, "Leigh" has prayed diligently for years for a very specific blessing from God. In recent weeks, it seems as though the Lord may be giving her precisely what she has longed for all these years. She has put her life into the Father's loving hands. He will protect her and continue to bless her.

I have heard the same message shared from three separate women's lives. Whether we ask for it or not, we face challenges everyday. Some are monumental and others mundane. Some exhilarating, others exhausting. Our only hope is in the promise that God is God. He never changes and He cares for us. We have our wishes, we make our decisions, we live like we're making things happen, but the ultimate truth is that God is in control.

But realizing such a huge truth should not cause us to feel powerless. His love is powerful. His sovereignty empowers us to live abundantly. We rest in Him. We trust in Him. We live for Him. We believe Him when he says He loves us and will complete the good work He has begun in us.

Thank you, Lord, for my friends (You know their real names). Thank you for loving them and letting me see You at work in their lives. You are mighty and wonderful. Give us all the courage to cry out for You and the patience to wait for You. Thank you for Your promises that make life so abundant. You are worthy of all our praise!

2010 update...

Today, "Kelly" is experiencing a miraculous blessing of healing in her life that can be remarkably traced to the NEW physician she discovered in her NEW town. (And the GREAT physician that never left her side:)

Today, "Sue" is experiencing the joy and victory that God has redeemed to her from a season of such heartache and pain.

Today, "Leigh" is experiencing God's sustaining power and love through His good and perfect gifts.

Lord, thank You for being alive and active. With a three year block of hind sight, Your providence and promises are so simple to see. Help me trust Your character when all I can see is this tiny moment...especially when this moment is sorrowful and hard...when it hurts. I KNOW You care and You love and You delight in pouring out mercy. Give me grace to trust you more.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

When it Rains it Pours

Boy Howdy. That was a rough several days.

then Mari...
then Luke...
then Landen...
then PHILIP, (hello! He utilized a sick day for the first time in 5 years)
then me. (um, hello!! I haven't run fever since my appendix ruptured 3 years ago)

headache, fever, and the tummy-crummies.


day after day of the infamous ABC diet:

AND tons of laundry.

At our low point, the unwelcome virus delivered its one-two punch, and Philip's onslaught of symptoms overlapped the time frame of my own. We each sat in our respective recliner, shivering in fleece hoodies despite being bundled deep within queen size quilts. As all the kids were recuperating/vegetating in front of the prime time Olympics, one child remarked, "You know it's serious when mom AND dad are sick."

We're better now.
Thank You, LORD! We are all better now.

And now for a little silver lining:

We were able to spend one whole day as a family at home.
I haven't had to cook a meal in several days.
I've already exceeded my 2 pound weight loss goal for this week.
I have an automated washing machine so I did not have to wash all that stuff by hand.
(who are we kidding? I have an automated washing machine so I did not have to BURN all that stuff.)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday, February 11, 2010...

Outside my window...SNOW!

I am remembering...our first Valentine's day as a married couple. Yikes, I really blew that one. Thank You, God, for second - and sixteenth chances.

I am thankful many things...warm home, healthy food, clean water, handsome husband, sweet kids, a VERY good God.

I am organizational binder with tabs entitled:
"Read It"
"File It"
"Pay It"
"Do It"

When I open the mail I can put bills in "Pay It". Things that need rsvp go in "Do It". So on and so on. There is also a place for my monthly menu and weekly shopping list along with my calendar. My friend has been using this system for years and I'm finally on board.

I am exercise today. Seriously.

I am reading..."Walking the Bible" by Bruce Feilerin.

I am finish this season of MP3 with whatever excellence I can muster. I love those kids. Mentally, this has been a haphazard year for me, and I do NOT want the musical to reek of that truth. God, grant us mercy.

On my mind...plans for next school year.

From the learning rooms...Mari is loving her new book of mazes. Ashlin's current favorite is Aesop's Fables. Ardyn enjoys the cool experiments in science...the last one involved an apple, a knife, and cake frosting. Luke cannot stop reading History...I think he's a week behind in Math, but a month ahead in History. Landen has found a surprising last-quarter groove.

Noticing that...the heater kicked on for the second time since I started posting. I think it's set on 61, so it must be C.O.L.D. outside.

Pondering these words..."When we live by the power of God rather than our flesh, we don't have to strive for power with our words." - Stormie O'Martian. "For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power." - 1Corinthians 4:20

From the kitchen...Sloppy Subs, Twice Baked Potatoes, Green Leafy Salad, and Valentine Brownies.

Ok, this is kinda funny. After Christmas,I found holiday brownie mix on sale. REALLY on sale. $0.25 per box. I checked the date. 11/10. I read the instructions on the back of the box. They included the phrase, "when batter is blended, sprinkle holiday candies from pouch". This indicated that the "holiday" portion of the brownies was indeed a separate item and could therefore be disregarded which would reinstate the dessert to "non-seasonal". I did a quick estimation of how many times this year I would have opportunity to bake brownies for church fellowships, taking dinner to friends, or just for a family treat. Rough estimate = 'a whole bunch'. Therefore I purchased a suitable do NOT want to know:)

I used a few boxes for the January birthday blitz, and surely I didn't throw those sprinkles away. They were still in the baking bucket up in the cabinet. So this morning, the kids washed their hands and each got a paper plate on which to pour a pouch of red, green & white sprinkles for sorting & redistribution. After several minutes of quite concentration I had a bowl full of red & white candies to sprinkle on my "I Love You More Than Chocolate" Brownies. (The shunned green sprinkles are in a baggie for Spring Break...March 17:)

Around the house...Philip will be home soon. Baby is asleep. Kids are chatting in the kitchen...someone is bouncing a ball, I think...I shall not ask.

One of my favorite 5x7 yellow legal pads. Ah! The possibilities!

From my picture journal... Luke & Landen at Johnson Bowl 2010

To participate or simply enjoy more daybooks, visit The Simple Woman.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Friendly Fan

Twice today’s inbox included conversations pertaining to the idea of church services being “seeker-friendly”. When did plain ol’ “friendly” lose its effectiveness? And when did friendliness trump Spirit & Truth when organizing corporate worship?

When I first visited IBC, it was my habit to slip in the back doors a few seconds after the evening service had begun - after dropping the boys off at AWANA. Folks were nice enough, but it was the Spirit's sweet yet powerful dealings that I was drawn to. The truth of scripture. The spirit of worship. The honesty and humility of people who obviously loved each other pouring their hearts out in prayer. It was such a welcome, comfortable place...but not because I knew all the people...I knew a handful of names and only recognized a few more faces. Not because I knew "the drill". Sunday nights were each a little different and there were no bulletins. (I thought it was Levitical law to print bulletins!)

“But you were already a believer,” you point out, “and already a Baptist!” (Well, I have worshipped at predominantly Baptist churches my whole life, but Jesus wasn’t Baptist, and that’s a “whole nuther” blog. J

What if we were to remove the spiritual element for the sake of analogy...

I know very little about football. Let’s say Bob is an avid fan. I know because of his speech and his sweatshirts and the fact that he doesn’t answer the phone on Sunday afternoon. If I were to attend a game it would be overwhelming. Certainly if Bob had invited me or recognized me at the gate, I might be able to relax a little and see it as almost exhilarating: He and all the other folks who share a passionate interest and enjoyment of football all jammed into the stadium, concentrating on something bigger than any of us. My wardrobe and lack of face paint would mark me as a visitor. I wouldn't know when to stand or when to sit. I wouldn't really feel comfortable cheering...even if I could assess an appropriate time at which to do so. The stats and jargon would be foreign. If there were a printed program I could glean some context clues, but most likely I would walk away knowing those guys simply lived something I didn't. BUT if the seats weren't too hard and the bathrooms were clean, and the people were kind, I'd probably agree to attend again. Shucks, it's possible I'd learn what I needed to learn and begin to enjoy the sport on my own and invest in season tickets.

Acts 17:24-34″The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands….From one man he made every nation of men…and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being….When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, ‘We want to hear you again on this subject.”

God digs seekers. His creation and calling of them is part of His plan. But if somebody’s seekin’ - they done already been saught, know what I’m sayin? God wants to be found and known and loved. When faced with the truth of Christ, some may sneer, but some will believe.

We need to deliberately and demonstratively love others…even befriend them! And when we meet together, we should focus our energies toward contemplating and celebrating God’s goodness and holiness…no matter what that ends up sounding like or looking like…hopefully it would never be the same twice.

I think He can handle the rest. It will be His plesaure.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Saturday Evening Post

Well, shoot.

Mari is sick. We haven't had a tummy bug in our home since January 2009. Elizabeth and I had slight symptoms Wednesday, but seemed better the next day. Mari's is full blown and I feel bad for her. I'm rewinding our day to think of all the friends and family with whom she shared touchy-breathy air and space. Oh me, oh my.

As a result...

I will be staying in tomorrow. No hair. No wardrobe. No lunch prep.

My Saturday evening has been redeemed unto me.

In other remarkable news: Philip has not been called out to work ALL day. (duck and cover 'cause I probably just jinxed that rig right outta the water!)

He took all the kids to watch Luke's game this morning while I attended a baby shower for my sweet, lemon-lovin' friend. What a treat to sip coffee from a [real] tea cup and casually chat and giggle with a roomful of comfortable kindness!

The Johnsons regrouped between games to eat lunch and shuffle carpools. Then it was "grab yer gatorade & git yer coat!" as we were off to sit on hard metal bleachers for the rest of the afternoon. I hate that I missed Luke's game, but Ardyn played great. She was a defensive force with which to be reckoned...just ask her rival-friend Olivia! Ashlin approaches the game with a spunky little rhythm that is a blast to watch.

Asian Salad for supper. This is one of Philip's favorite meals and it is SO simple.

Bag of salad
Chow mien noodles
Mandarin oranges (drained)
Breaded chicken
Catalina dressing

Sometimes, when I have time, I hand-bread fresh chicken pieces and bake them, but for the quicker, junkier version, I simply heat up frozen popcorn chicken. A surprising crowd pleaser.

This evening, as Mari rested on her pallet and dozed in & out of "Annie", Philip tidied up the kitchen mess then challenged Ardyn and Ashli to several lanes of wii bowling. I helped the boys study for their History and English tests while Elizabeth danced a jig in her exersaucer.

Now that it's getting late, my head is sort of swimming. Oh, man, I do NOT want to be sick. I'd better call it a day. Philip's wishing I were over there focused on the movie with him instead of over here clicking and clacking away.

Thank You, God for today. Thank You for providing every possibility to find joy. Please watch over Mari tonight and heal her. Thank You for babies and basketball games and bedtime! You are THE BEST!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


On a Septic Tank Truck:

Yesterday's Meals on Wheels


In a
Podiatrist's office:

"Time wounds all heels.." (read it again)


On a Plumber's truck:

"We repair what your husband fixed."


At a Tire Shop in Milwaukee:

"Invite us to your next blowout.."


At a Towing company:

"We don't charge an arm and a leg. We want tows."


In a Non-smoking Area:

"If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action."


On a Maternity Room door:

"Push. Push. Push."


At an Optometrist's Office:

"If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place."


On a Taxidermist's window:

"We really know our stuff."


On a Fence:

"Salesmen welcome! Dog food is expensive!"


At a Car Dealership:

"The best way to get back on your feet - miss a car payment."


Outside a Muffler Shop:

"No appointment necessary.. We hear you coming."


In a Veterinarian's waiting room:

"Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!"


At the Electric Company:

"We would be delighted if you send in your payment.

However, if you don't, you will


And one more before we go.....

Sign on the back of another Septic Tank Truck:

"Caution - This Truck is full of Political Promises"