Sunday, May 1, 2011

In which Natalie is a rosebud in Coppelia

Coppelia is the story of a dollmaker who creates a doll so lifelike that he dreams of a way to make her come to life. Franz sees the doll and falls in love with her as well. Swanhilde, his intended bride, is not terribly happy about this. So she and her friends sneak into Dr. Coppelius' shop to try and talk to the girl (not realizing that she's a doll). They all get caught in turn, and Swanhilde puts on the doll's clothes and tricks both Franz and Dr. Coppelius. In the end, Swanhilde and Franz get married. It's a comedic ballet full of slapstick. I think it was the most entertaining recital so far in Natalie's ballet career. They had so much fun! Brooklin absolutely loved watching the girls dancing. She would have been onstage in a heartbeat if we had let her. You can't see her that well because of the lighting, but here she is dancing in the audience. I'll give her another year or so, but she's going to love ballet just like her sister.

How we celebrate Easter

I'm really grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, and all He did for me. Easter is a wonderful time where Christians all over the world celebrate an empty tomb. Because while the Savior suffered greatly in our behalf, the real message is that He overcame ALL! What a blessing to know that He truly lives today and loves each and every one of us!

Our kids combined with our friends, the Gimmesons, to decorate eggs Friday night to start off the Easter festivities.

Like many of may siblings and friends, Joe and I talked to the Easter bunny about showing up on Saturday instead of Sunday morning. It's just too hard to deal with getting kids ready for church while they're hopped up (no pun intended) on sugar. Worse, they usually have chocolate on their church clothes long before we can even get in the car. And worst of all, the true meaning of Easter gets lost. The kids didn't know that we'd made that deal though. So they got up Saturday morning and went about their normal cartoon-watching routine. I got up around 8:00 and started breakfast like normal. After breakfast, AJ happened to casually walk by the dining room where their baskets sat untouched and realized what had happened. So much fun. It was a great spring surprise.

Saturday evening, we really enjoyed spending time with Jeremy and Dyana and Grandma and Grandpa Johnson with games and such. Grandma Johnson graciously provided dinner because she's just that good a host.

Because of varying church routines, the Johnson family had Easter brunch instead of dinner. We had all kinds of breakfast delights. From pancakes to monkey bread to bacon and sausage to apple french toast casserole...and it was all so good!! After breakfast, the kids had their egg hunt at Grandma's house.

This year was the first Pirate Lane egg hunt. After church, the kids all got together to hunt for Easter eggs left by the Bunny himself. They had a great time, and it was really fun to do something like that with the neighbors.

When the call to "go" was given, Brooklin made a beeline straight guessed it, the dog! In case you didn't know already, Brooklin absolutely loves dogs. She was eventually persuaded to try for eggs as well.

Spring birthdays

Four of Liz's boys have spring birthdays, so we gathered at Grandma's house to celebrate for good food and company. Happy birthdays Andrew, Jared, Ben, and Aaron!!!

Brooklin is a messy toddler, and we had chocolate molten cakes for dessert. So no clothes.

This is AJ being...well, AJ.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Where we see Ben and Stacy get married, and LeiAnn's family is all together!

My youngest brother, Ben, met a beautiful, talented young woman named Stacy last year, and they were married March 31st in the Draper Utah LDS Temple. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe that marriage in the temple is for time and all eternity. Ben and Stacy, by being worthy of and choosing a temple marriage, will be together with their future children forever. Being able to be in the temple with all of my siblings and their spouses was such an incredible thing!!

This is baby Ivy (Peggy & Seth) and baby Tyson (Jed & Allison). They're such fat babies!! Look at Ivy's little rolls! We tried to get a pic of baby Bryant with the other two, but I didn't catch that.

Brooklin and her cousin, Ally (Dennis & Gayla), look so much alike!!

Jed and Allison were gracious enough to let us stay with them throughout the festivities and afterwards. Saturday morning, the girls all dressed as princesses while watching General Conference.

Here's a couple extras of Brooklin. She has latched onto a baby doll my parents saved from when I was a baby. I've had to repair arms and legs a few times, but she loves it! The other pic is poor Boo, desperate to go outside, she didn't care that she was pantsless and her coat was backwards!

Here we all are! Who knows when it will happen again? Hopefully soon though. I love my family!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Oh, scouts...

Joe and I are not 100% converted to scouts as parents yet. We believe in the program, but we're not very good at getting AJ to pass stuff off yet. We did, however, work on enough things that AJ earned a bead at his recent pack meeting. He was pretty proud of himself, but not proud enough that he could tell anyone what he did to earn the bead. He had to track his health habits, make a job chart, and teach a few family home evening lessons.

Here's a few pictures from the annual blue and gold banquet.

AJ and his pack had to perform a few skits. This was the best one. Joe said they had it all well practiced and were great in practice. However, in front of the crowd, they all ended up with stage fright (except for "Ham-it-up AJ").

Repainting the Duster

Joe recently participated in a car show at Big Bend Community College. One of the things he was embarrassed about was that they made him lift the hood and show off his mis-match paint job. So this week's project is masking off and repainting the trunk and engine compartment to match the exterior. We are lucky to have a nephew who works at a paint store and got a GREAT deal on the paint for us. Joe had to really finagle that one. It looks a lot better now that it's done. Sorry the after pics are not the best.

Of Brooklin

I have a love/hate relationship with my kids as toddlers. I think my daughter is so funny in all the little things that she does. Like hiding under a laundry basket. Or trying DESPERATELY to put on her doll's pajamas and getting frustrated when I told her they simply wouldn't fit. But it's also still hard to deal with the lack of intelligible communication and the emotional outbursts when I just don't understand what she wants. Luckily, sign helps a lot with that. But I don't know the signs for a lot of things and thus, neither does she. But she is getting better about talking.

The best news is that Brooklin is almost potty-trained. We have found jelly beans to be a great motivator for her. She has been dry all day today (so far!). Most days we are about 50/50 for accidents vs. in the toilet. She likes to wear her underwear and gets really mad when I insist on a diaper for car rides and such. Not quite sure what we're gonna do on our trip to Utah next week. We might just have to cart the toddler toilet with us :)