Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

From our family to yours, we pray you have a blessed holiday.

As we celebrate this special time of the year in which we choose to honor our Savior's birth, we have in our prayers those who are mourning and have sick family members.

May the Lord bless you all!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Saint Nicholas Eve...

I woke with a start as I looked at the clock, the calendar on the wall with the date circled in red... Tomorrow is Saint Nicholas day!

What does that mean for this family?

Long story short? Because of the outside influences on our family and the heavy commercialism in society, we do not have Santa Claus involved in our Christmas traditions. However, in order to keep the younger kids from feeling like they are missing out on their childhood we looked into the truth behind the jolly old elf. And thus became the acknowledgement of Saint Nicholas Day.

St. Nicholas was a young man that had been orphaned and raised by monks. (long story short) He had quite a bit of money, but the custom of being a monk was to forgo all worldly possessions. In doing so, Nicholas gave his money to the poor that needed in, but he did it secretly. He did not want attention for his actions. (This is how the Secret Santa tradition got its start.)

For our family what we do is on Saint Nicholas day, December 6, we have a devotion about giving or servitude and talk about who Nicholas was and most importantly why he did what he did. The reason St. Nicholas lived the way he did was because he was a Christian and he followed Jesus.

All of that said. I know a large group of people in the Google+ Community that have grasped the true Christmas spirit and they are trying to bring Christmas about for a lot of people that could use some help. +Secret Santa is doing a great job. They have over 1000 wish lists and everybody is participating by those that can afford to buy, doing so and those that can not by helping some other way. 

We do have our wishlist listed.  You can find it here : 

Or, if you would like to send Christmas Cards (We love Christmas Cards and if you give us your address we will send one to you too)

The Johnson Famiy
P.O. Box 241
White Bluff, TN 37187 

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Ready for Some Hoops?

Our kids are excited this morning, actually they have been excited all week. One of our neighbors gave us their basketball goal since their kids have grown up and no longer live at home. It has been sitting in our driveway all week with them staring at it longingly.

It was awesome that all we had to do was bust off the old concrete and buy a bag of new concrete to install it. Less than five dollars and the kids are set! Let's shoot some hoops!

Mind you, only G3 has ever played on a basketball team. That is okay though, playing basketball will bring many family memories and will be great exercise. As a whole we have been trying to instill traditions that involve exercise and fun with the entire family. This just adds to it.

Just since we have given the okay for the kids to play, the boys have been all about shooting hoops. Mom and Dad are going to have to get out there are teach them some games to play.

What are things your family does to keep active in the fall? What are some things you do to encourage family bonding?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Driving Along in My Auto Mobile

 Last week G3 earned her learner’s permit after hours of diligently studying the Tennessee Drivers’ Handbook along with meeting the requirements that we have at home for such a privilege. Once she earned it, she shared with many of her friends on Facebook and Twitter and they were very excited for her.

Then it hit. ADULTS started asking if her sister(s) had also gotten her’s. I will admit, this bothered me. 

If you follow our Facebook Page, you might remember a status that was posted referencing knowing your own child and that just because a child is sixteen it does not mean that they are ready to get behind the wheel of a car. I will explain. G3 is the youngest of our girls and she turned fifteen at the beginning of August. G2 is also fifteen and will be sixteen in February. G1 will be eighteen in November. Each of our children has different maturity and responsibility levels, to say they are all the same would be to deny their individuality. This is a common thread that any parent with more than one child can see. This is also why many professionals warn parents to not compare children with the peers too much because the grow differently and milestones are merely indicators.

With our girls, we have had the discussion about driving and the requirements. G2 has said multiple times that she is not interested in driving. This has been exasperated especially so since our wreck last year, she is terrified to drive.  This is understandable as horrible as the wreck was and how bad it could have turned out. G1 is interested; however, her free and creative spirit does not like to comply with requirements set forth. 

Now everybody wants to know what these stringent requirements are, I am sure. Well here it is. After the wreck last summer, we had said there was no way we were going to let any of the kids drive. It was a knee jerk reaction and after we calmed down, we realized that was wrong. This past spring we said the requirements for learners’ permit/ drivers’ license would be that they had to be doing well in school (turning homework in on time, etc), doing their chores consistently, be respectful, show responsibility and maturity. If they did that then they could learn how to drive our Geo Metro.  G1 balked at the idea and G3 jumped at it. Our reasoning behind which vehicle is two fold. The first and most important is that our Expedition is the people mover and the vehicle we rely on the most. The second reason is that the Metro is a manual transmission and we believe that it is best to learn to drive a manual so that the skill is there to fall back on in the future.

Considering that we, my husband and I, look at having a driver’s license as a privilege I am surprised that I am writing about this; yet, maybe there are other parents that have the same issue. Maybe you have a younger child that has proven itself and you are afraid of what others would say if you allow them the privilege and not the older. It is my opinion that privileges are earned, they are not a right.

For Information About the Tennessee Graduated Driver License Program (

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering When 9/11

in memory of septer 11 2001
 We seem to forget about things until the anniversary of the event and then it strikes us. Depending how it affected us usually depends on how we remember. Happy couples gladly remember their wedding anniversary. Parents remember children’s birthdays. What about the unhappy things though?

Today, many of us are remembering where we were eleven years ago. For most of us, it left us with a sense of dread. We did not know what was coming next. We were unsure when the attacks would stop and how our government would retaliate.

That is not what goes through my mind on this anniversary though. When I think back to 9/11/2001, I think of a life that was just shattered. A month prior, I found myself moving into my parents’ house with my two daughters separated from my ex-husband. Divorce papers were filed two weeks before that fateful day.

For me, 9/11 was a wakeup call. I could keep living in a pity-party state of mind, or I could get out there and live. It was not an instant wakeup call, but it was a wakeup call. My resolve formed that I wanted better for myself and for my children. I wanted my girls to have a strong mother that sought God.

Eleven years later, we are still a work in progress. Our family has tripled in size from my remarriage nine years ago and having babies. We are not perfect. I am a much stronger woman of God than I was eleven years ago.

How did 9/11 affect you? 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Returning to Routine

August... the month of hustle and bustle. Back to school shopping. Returning to school for the kids.

It's easy to get lost in it all.

New schedules, new routine, meeting new teachers, new situations, new activities, new everything.

Peace be Still
As we are getting this new "routine" under our belts and returning to sanity (if that is possible), the yearning to just BE STILL is born from within.

Looking back through the years, I used to just think that it was because the fall brought on the sports and we were busy. Now, I believe that the yearning is because we get caught up in stuff we forget about what is important.

With back to school and football and band and all the other stuff that goes on in the fall (and any other time of year) we as young families tend to let life navigate us instead of us navigate life.

If we are always reacting to what is thrown at us, then we can never be PROactive. Reacting is letting life dictate what we do. Being PROactive is being in charge of life. Sometimes being proactive means not being involved in so many activities. It means that you take into account how insane the schedule is if all of your children are doing a sport or if all of them are doing multiple sports. Or academic clubs or band.

Get control of your life so you have peace in your home. A big part of being PROactive with us is having God first and foremost. We notice big time when we put God on the bench. Things get crazy quick. He's not just a pinch hitter, he's a starter that plays the whole game.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Living What You Believe

In light of the chicken sandwich debacle...

As I have read the comments going back and forth about this whole Chick-fil-a thing, I was really thinking and praying. I limited commenting on my friends statuses and posts because I did not want to be reactionary.  I have several friends that are now boycotting the fast food chain. I have several that made it a point to visit yesterday.

Freedom of speech is wonderful. We all have the right to our own opinion in this beautiful country of the United States of America.

However, I do see a major problem. That problem is people that call themselves Christians live a very lax lifestyle. And for the record, I am not pointing a judgemental finger at anybody. A commenter on on of the newspaper Facebook pages cited that "Christians accepted drunks, adulterers, liars, drug addicts, those that have been divorced, those never married with kids, etc... but they could not accept homosexuals." All I can say to that is WOW. My first instinct was to reply and argue that that individual must never had their world shaken by divorce when they were involved in the church, but thankfully, I did not. I thought and prayed.

God opened my eyes to something over the last few days specifically, but it has been on going. See, Christians thought they had to "lighten up" and give in to the world in order to be accepted so they allowed some things to be okay, or to turn a blind eye. They justified their loosening of morals because the numbers on the rolls of the churches were growing. But in reality by dropping the standards and morals the waters have been muddied.

As a Christian we are suppose to live a moral life according to the Word of God. (That would be Genesis through Revelation.)  Our bodies are temples to the Lord.(1 Cor 6:19) As temples to the Lord we are to take care of them, we are to be VERY aware of how we treat them. This includes what we put in them: food, beverage, drugs, etc. This includes a healthy life style. The Bible says that a man will leave his parents and join his wife, and the two shall become one. (Gen 2:24, Matt 19:5, Mark 10:7, Eph 5:31)

Having said that, I feel I should also include this passage from the apostle Paul:

Galatians 5:13-23  (NIV)
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

My point in sharing this is that 1) Sin is sin. There is not a ranking of what sin is worse than another. Only one sin is unforgivable and that is rejection of God. (Blasphemy) Possibly a more important point in all of this is my second point... 2) WE ARE TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR.

As a Christian I do not condone being drunk, I do not condone being an adulterer, I do not condone homosexuality, I do not condone fits of rage, I do not condone abusive behavior. BUT  more importantly AS a Christian I do my best TO LOVE MY NEIGHBOR. Perhaps that is where we need to get back to people. Live the way Jesus did. Show people the love He did. Maybe if more people were to show God's love, Christians wouldn't be seen as a joke.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fun with Summer School!

Three weeks into summer and also three weeks into a very flexible summer school. So far we are progressing okay. Possibly a little two flexible since I had a pain flair and it threw us out of wack and then had some appointments. Yet, that is the point of being flexible and we are trying to keep summer fun too. Not that the summer school isn't fun. Ha!

As mom this is really helping me see where the boys are having problems at in school and where they are strong at. I can see where they enjoy different subjects and why too. It is very eye opening seeing where my strong readers are and where my strong math guys are. Then also seeing who is more likely to give up when it gets a little hard and who is likely to dig in and get to it.

This summer is not just helping the boys with their academics, it is also helping us see who our children are. I believe it is a blessing and I am already of the opinion that every parent should give a home school summer at least once, if not every summer. After all, it helps the kids maintain during the summer to keep them stimulated and it doesn't really take a whole lot.

My prayer for the boys is that by doing this they will be more than ready for school this fall. Plus I am praying we can get past some of the problem areas. Hopefully.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Keeping Mom's Sanity

Sometimes I think I am the only mom out there that really doesn't enjoy summer. I know that it is not the case. I just get overwhelmed with everything that is going on and my desire for a stress free and relaxing break never happens.

So this year, we are going about the summer a little different. With the economy the way it is we have had to cut back on going to the zoo and the adventure museum, gas is expensive and our people mover does not get good gas mileage. We have decided to stay home for the most part.

In our area (home) we have a bowling center that is participating in, the local movie theater has free movies on Wednesdays for the kids (check your local theater), we have a couple playgrounds nearby plus a large state park that we can go to with a swim area that is free. These are all things that we are able to take advantage of to keep the kids busy and we have done in the past.

This year, for the boys we are adding a summer home school curriculum. We started with The Complete Book of Bible Activities, Grades 2-4 mainly for B2 and B3 but I think B1 can use it too now that I have flipped through it. I really like how it incorporates Biblical values, morals, and characters into the activities so that the kids are learning multiple things at once. Then I found The Original Summer Bridge Activities 1-2, The Original Summer Bridge Activities 3-4, and The Original Summer Bridge Activities 4-5 for all three boys. These books will last about eight weeks, which is also the length of our summer (we have an altered school schedule). Each book 'bridges' the grade that the student just completed and prepares them for the next year. I am hoping with the new standards that our schools have put in place that we will at least keep the kids from regressing. Then when I was picking up some office supplies in town, I saw Summer Splash Learning Activities Grades 1-2 for B3. I went ahead and got the extra book for him because he likes the challenge and really needs to work on focusing. We are hoping that in addition to the work keeping them from "being bored to death" it will also keep them from the typical summer regression that occurs. An added bonus is that the Summer Bridge books and one of the other books also have activities that can be accessed online too.

How does your family plan to combat summer boredom? Do you have a problem with keeping the kids busy during the summer?

Disclaimer: In text links are affiliate links to The widget is an affiliate link to

Friday, June 01, 2012

I Can See Clearly Now


In the last eight weeks seven of us have had our vision checked. Of those seven, six of us need glasses. That is a lot of glasses. I wanted to share with you a website a friend told me about. It was right after I ordered my glasses from Coastal that I had gotten a very good deal on. (Your first pair are free you just pay shipping. There are some stipulations.) The other site is Zenni Optical.

The glasses I ordered from Coastal are a high quality and worth the $30 I spent. I added the coatings bundle which is the UV coating, anti-reflective coating and the scratch resistant coating. I really enjoy the glasses and they are what I call my 'work glasses'.

Zenni, however has very inexpensive glasses and when you have kids that are rough on their frames and you have to replace them, they are the place to go.  Instead of worrying if the boys are going to come home from school or Tae Kwon Do with their glasses in a baggie, I know that we can replace them if needed. The other advantage about Zenni though is that, they are inexpensive enough to let the kids pick out what they want frame wise. That means they take better care of them.

B1 has had his for a little over a month now and he loves them. They are a unique camo type color and they are plastic frame. There are no nose pads for him to complain about being too tight and the ears fit perfect. Between this pair from Zenni and the pair that the insurance covered at the eye doctor, I've got to say he wears his Zenni pair a lot more.

B1's Zenni glasses were $6.95 plus shipping and it included the UV coating and the anti-scratch coating. I think in my personal opinion it is well worth the buy. It did take about 2 weeks to get the glasses once ordered. That would be the down side to the experience with Zenni.

Overall I am happy with both Coastal and Zenni and would be glad to do business with either company again. Obviously, as long as I have rambunctious little boys that are rough on their glasses I will be visiting Zenni.

Disclaimer: The link to Coastal is an affiliate link. I have not been paid to do a review of either company and all opinions and views expressed have been solely mine and mine alone. 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Are We Missing the Mark?

I was reminded by a friend's post on Facebook yesterday about what is important while we are raising our kids. It isn't that I have been neglecting my children. It is just one of those little things that really matters.

You can have the most polite, most educate, most groomed, child on the block and they still be missing the mark. That is what I was reminded of. In fact, your child can know the Bible backwards and forwards and still be missing the mark.

What the friend of mine pointed out was very simple, her children were very eager to help a person in need. It wasn't that she forced them to do it, it was simply that she mentioned the person needed help and both of them were happy to help with her. I think that is the key. She led by example.

I know I have wrestled with things many times because sometimes it is just easier for me to just do it instead of showing one of the kids how to do it or waiting for them as they help. Is that teaching them a positive thing though?

As a Christian, we are to show God's love to others and we are to teach our children that love. How do our children learn about that love unless we show them? Its not just the love within a family, its also reaching out to others. Like when the neighbor can't get his car to start and you help get it jumped off. You do it to help, not to get a reward.

It used to be the norm that people helped others and were generous with them, there was that brotherly love in abundance. Perhaps it is a bit naive, due to the area I live in, but it has slowly died away. What would happen if we brought it back? What would happen if the Christians lived as Christ and showed God's love continuously?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

B2's Prayer and an Update

I was going through the drafts for the blog as the last year has been crazy and getting back into the swing of things has been rather difficult. In light of this past Sunday and B2's salvation this prayer makes my soul smile.
Dear God, 
Thank you for not letting us die in the wreck. Can you please heal Mom, Dad and G2? The people in the other car really need healing too God, please heal them.
Thank you. Amen.
(Sunday evening (6/19/2011) we were involved in a bad wreck. We've lost our Expedition, but God protected our lives. The vehicle will be replaced in God's timing.)
As for an update, we are doing better. Everyday is made possible through God and we know this. G2 recovered quickly from her bumps and bruises. Myself and the hubs have been slower at healing, I suppose that is due to being a little bit older. The Lord replaced our Expedition with another slightly older one.

We appreciate all that have prayed. Currently we are in the settlement phase and things are rough and tumble, but we are trusting in the Lord and we are just praying that He will get the glory in all of this.

Friday, April 13, 2012

A New Life!

Our Easter was truly blessed this year. We had a wonderful family service in our church.

The pastor shared the Easter message of how the tomb was and is empty and that Jesus is indeed raised from the dead.

We were excited that while Pastor was sharing the promises that God gave us in Christ's resurrection that B2 was listening well and on the edge of his seat because his heart was stirring.

During the alter-call B2 went forward and announced that he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. We are a very joyous family! So happy that one more of our quiver has chosen the path to the Lord.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Springing Forward

It amazes me how quickly time can get away from you. Or at least how quickly it can get away from me.

Our family has been "busy". Seems we are always doing something.

B1, B2, and B3 'kicking it up'
After seeing how well B3 has done with Tae Kwon Do, we decided to put B1 and B2 in it also. Of course it did not take very long and hubby decided to join to. The three of them are doing well. Hubby has noticed the exercise is helping him a lot. B2 seems to be a natural with the martial arts. I digress tho and shall save it for another post.

G1 is still looking for her identity. She has decided to drop band for her senior year. I am saddened by that, but it is her choice and if her heart is not in it, it may be what is best. She is at the age where she wants to define who she is and we find ourselves turning to God more and more for wisdom and guidance. Which is where I believe we should be going. She's a good kid, and she is talented.

With spring, comes Little League sign ups and the first one out the door was G3 begging to play softball. She's the only one playing this year. B2 is not interested since he seemed to find his niche with the martial arts. Her first practice is tonight. I suspect this will be quite a night.

Hope your Spring has Sprung nicely!