Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Party 2008

Every year we have a Christmas party with some of our close friends. The "original five", as we call them, all get together and we let them all reek havoc. It's so much fun! Well the original five kids has now grown to NINE and will soon be ELEVEN! This year, each of the kids had a secret pal for Christmas. We had a great time picking out just the right gifts and it was neat to see how the kids are starting to learn about the giving part of Christmas, rather than just the receiving. Aside from exchanging gifts, we ate lots of delicious food and sampled a huge assortment of Christmas goodies. It was a wonderful night!

Josh and Mommy

The kids are making gingerbread men with stickers. They had a lot of fun with this activity.

This was one of my attempts at a picture of the kids all together. As you can see, I didn't have the best location. Maybe someone else got a better shot. :)

Josh and Daddy just chillin'.

We were all dressed up nice for church on Sunday and this was our sore attempt at a family Christmas photo. Kate is the only one who looks cute (which happens more often than not).

Josh is such a silly boy, here is the video to prove it.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Santa Claus

Let me just tell you, we think that Kate has gotten on Santa's good side because he sure loves her! Just check out these pictures we snapped this past weekend.

And here are couple of sweet pictures of the kids dressed up in their Christmas outfits.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


What a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend we have had! It all began on Wednesday morning when Katelyn and I put on our aprons and headed to the kitchen to do some holiday baking.
On our to do list: green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, apple pie, cinnamon rolls, and breakfast casserole. First we started with the cinnamon rolls. Katelyn helped by stirring, pouring and turning on the Kitchen Aid. When it was time to roll out the dough she made sure that all of the flour was spread out evenly over the counter. She even performed a little quality testing to make sure that the dough was just right.

After the cinnamon rolls were set to rise, we started on the pies. Katelyn tasted a few of the apples to make sure they were perfect for Ben's new Dutch Apple Pie recipe. (It's delicious!) Together we made the fillings for each of the pies and got them ready to put in the oven. By this time, Katelyn was done being my little helper and decided to go lay on the couch and watch a movie.
For dinner, we headed to the church for the Annual Thanksgiving Dinner. Yummy! We try to eat all of the foods that our family does not normally eat on Thanksgiving. It was delicious. Katelyn was too distracted by all of her friends and ended up running around for most of the night. All in all, a fun evening.
Before we put the kids to bed, we all read "The Night Before Thanksgiving" together.

It's a really cute book done in the same rhyme as "Twas the Night Before Christmas". I would definitely recommend it.
Thanksgiving morning was filled with parade watching, cinnamon roll eating and sales ad searching. A nearly perfect morning! I can still feel the adrenaline rush as we mulled over all of the ads searching for incredible deals. Black Friday is a day unlike any other, a day we look forward and plan for all year. :)
After enjoying a relaxing morning at home, we headed over to Thanksgiving dinner at Dad/Grandpa's house later in the afternoon. Dinner was delicious, especially the sweet potato casserole, Granny's homemade noodles and Dad's smoked turkey. We had a wonderful day!
On Black Friday morning, we had decided to wake up and head out for some shopping whenever we were all awake and ready. Josh had other plans. He woke up around 3:30am and after I fed him he was still wide awake! I took that as my que to bundle him up and head to Walmart! So, I left Ben and Kate sleeping, strapped Josh into the Baby Bjorn and fought my way through the crowded isles of our neighborhood Walmart. I came home with lots of clothes for the kiddos and a movie or two. It was well worth the trip. By the time I got home it was nearly 7am, so Ben and Kate got up and ready and we drove to Home Depot to buy a ladder that Ben had seen on sale. It's an awesome ladder!
Ben put it to good use right away by putting up Christmas lights on the front of the house! He did a great job.
We spent the rest of the weekend relaxing and decorating the house for Christmas... Here are some photos of all our hard work.

Katelyn arranging all the people in the Christmas Village

Joshua just being cute

The Christmas Tree

The Stockings

Katelyn's way of decorating the entry table

Our Sweet Boy

Our Big Girl

Friday, November 7, 2008

Life's Been Busy

Sorry it has been so long since have updated the blog! I feel like we are just now coming up for air. There is no way I can post about all of our adventures in one sitting. So I will just go over the highlights.

Chris and Anya Came to Visit!
Ben's brother, Chris, and his wife and two cute kiddos flew to North Carolina all the way from Roy, Utah. Of course, their visit also lined up perfectly with the Coca Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Ben and Chris are major NASCAR fans so this was a must for them. While the boys enjoyed the races, the girls went to Disney Fantasy on Ice. It was so neat! The show was broken into four different "movies": Cars, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King and Tinkerbell. Seriously, Katelyn's barely even blinked during the entire show. She kept waving at all of the character as the skated by.
At the end of Chris and Anya's visit we packed up both of our cars and headed to Myrtle Beach for a quick trip. Anya couldn't get this close to a beach and not see the ocean! We made the three hour trip and spent a Sunday night and all day Monday palling around Myrtle Beach. Too much fun! We have never had a week as jammed packed and fun as this one. Thanks for such a fantastic week Chris, Anya, Kenyon and Kaiya!
Anya, Kate and Kaiya outside Disney Fantasy On Ice

The Whole Crew (minus Ben whos is taking the picture!)

Katelyn on the bridge feeding the fish

Ben posing as "Super Dad!" (this totally reminds me of Ben's brother Jonathan)

Kris and Shannon Came to Visit!

The day before Chris and Anya went back to Utah, my brother Kris and his wife Shannon and their daughter Libby came from Oklahoma for a visit. Well, really, they mostly came to buy a new car (it pays to have the hook-up at Carmax. Thanks Dad!), but they got to hang out for a few days before they drove home. Of course, we had to go to Monkey Joe's. Katelyn and libby had a blast jumping all over the place. Afterwards, we celebrated Libby's 4th Birthday at Cici's pizza. Yummy!

Kate and Libby getting some cousin hugs
Joshua literally chewing his Grandpa's fingers off!

The Aunts
Came to Visit

The weekend after Kris and Shannon headed back to Stillwater, The Aunts (my dad's three sisters) flew in for the weekend. We ate lots of great food and The Aunts totally and completly spoiled the kiddos. (Which we love!) It was so good to see them, it made me miss Oklahoma quite a bit.


The Halloween festivities this year began with the annual Johnston Family Pumpkin Carving Party. We didn't actually carve any pumpkins, but we sure had a lot of great food. (Do you see a trend here with all of the yummy food?) The following Saturday was the Matthews Ward Trunk or Treat. Katelyn dressed up as the cutest little fairy this year. She would flitter through the house flapping her arms pretending to be a fairy. Ben took her around to trick-or-treat at the Trunk or Treat... but she wasn't too interested in the candy.
Halloween night, we got the kids all dressed up. Oh, yea, we dressed Joshua up as a puppy. He barely tolerated the costume. Poor kid. Ben and Kate carved the pumpkin and then after a yummy dinner of potato soup, Kate and I headed out to ring door bells while Ben stayed home with Joshua to hand out candy. Kate was really good at knocking on the door or ringing the doorbells, but she would barely squeak "trick-or-treat". When someone put candy in her bucket she would say "Oh! I like that!". I guess that is close to "Thank you". After making the rounds through the neighborhood, we headed back home and made donuts and drank apple cider while we watched a movie. All in all, it was a great Halloween!

Josh and Kate being sweet

Our smiley boy!

Ben and Kate carving the pumpkin


Joshua barely tolerating his puppy costume

Julie, Josh and Kate

Scary Ben, Josh and Kate

The Scary Face!

The Stash

The Crash

Joshua's 6 Month Check-Up

Can you believe Josh is six months old? I really can't. Honestly, I have been trying to savor every minute with him because I know he is going to grow twice as fast as Katelyn did. My baby is so big! Literally, he is 20 pounds. :) Yep, that's what I said, 20 pounds. He is in the 90th percentile for his weight and the 75th percentile for his height which is currently 27 inches. He is such a trooper. He had to get three shots and he only cried for a minute until I could pick him up and then he was fine. What a good baby he is! He is starting to "talk". In the car the other day, I heard him saying "da da da da" or some form of that. No signs of crawling yet. We are still working on sitting up.

Katelyn Started Preschool

A few weeks ago we started doing Preschool with a group of four other moms on Thursdays and Fridays. We rotate houses each week. Every day the kids learn a new letter, number, and get to do the calendar for the day. The calendar has the days of the week, holidays and even weather. It has been so much fun! Katelyn really loves it! So far she has learned about: cats, dogs, germs, going to the doctor, pumpkins, Halloween, nature and gardening.
Kate really loves all things Disney Princess. She sings the songs from The Little Mermaid, Mulan and Sleeping Beauty. I love listening to her sing... it is so cute! In the song "Part of Your World" from the The Little Mermaid" there is one line that goes "...but they don't reprimand their daughters...". Katelyn sings it as "... but they don't member godders..". It is hilarious because she sings it with such emotion! I will have to get try and get it on video.

Ben and Julie signing out. More to come.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Food Co-Op and Apple Picking

What a yucky and rainy, but totally fun day we had! We all woke up early this morning, which is a miracle in itself, and drove for 45 minutes down to Clover, SC, to pick up a box of fresh produce. It was $15 for a large box of produce, and the produce varies week to week. Here is what we came home with:

We weighed everything we got and went to Food Lion to compare prices. The same fruits and vegetables that you see would have cost $33.58 as compared to the $15 that we paid. What a deal! (That is if you don't account for the gas it cost to get down there. But we figure that if we get enough people to join the co-op then we could cut the gas costs significantly.)

After we collected our produce we decided to make our drive even more worth while and drove 15 more minutes to a nearby apple orchard. The Windy Mill Apple Orchard. I read online that they offered apple picking, hot apple cider donuts and even hayrides. When we arrived, everything appeared a little bit soggy. To be honest, the girl working behind the counter at the fruit stand looked a little surprised to see us since it looked like it might start pouring at an minute. But we were in a daring mood and decided it would be fun to go apple picking while we were there. They gave us a basket and an apple picker and we headed out into the orchard. It was actually really fun! Here are a few pictures from our apple picking adventure:

Katelyn thought apple picking was pretty cool, but she had the most fun watching the chickens. We bought her a little cup of corn kernels to feed to the chickens and we showed her where all of the hens laid there eggs. One chicken in particular had quite a feast from Katelyn's corn kernels, but we thought she was having a bad hair day and might need a little comfort food.

(Maybe we should have taken the family photo at the beginning,
rather than at the end of our adventure.)

Last but not least, here are a few random pictures from the past few weeks. Josh is now almost 5 months old. I know! We can't believe it either! He is the happiest, sweetest baby. We just started feeding him some solid foods. So far he has had rice cereal and bananas. He is totally loving the bananas. He is starting to roll over. He can roll to his tummy, but he usually gets stuck and can't roll back onto his back! We'll work on that. Katelyn is 2 3/4 years old now. She loves to sing, color, paint and of course watch Disney movies. Recently, Ben has been singing her the song "How Great Thou Art" and I often find her playing and singing the words "I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder" over and over again. It so sweet! We love it!

Katelyn brushing her teeth just after we finished braiding her hair so that it would be cute and wavy in the morning.

"Hanging out" at the park

Kate building a sand castle

Kate and her bean

Our happy boy!