Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Vacation 2016: Day 5

Day 5 was a big day. That was a lot going on from beginning to end. It started with more Covenant Kids and going to the morning session. Then there was a birthday party.
And corresponding cupcakes.
Tyler may have been pretty wiped by this point.
Then in the afternoon, Tyler went to rehearsal for the evening's service and the rest of us went and played at the waterpark again.
Check out the sleepy boy on the left...and Addilyn's hair!!
After all of our waterpark fun, we headed back to our room to rest and get ready for the evening's festivities. The kids watched some random kid TV (terrifying!!) and then we ate some sandwiches in the room and got all dressed up.
 Looking sharp and ready to go!

Our group took up an entire row!
Luckily it was a row between sections which meant we had a lot of space for Albert to lay on the floor and play with his cars. And the rest of the kids made sure that everyone was properly hydrated at the water station right next to our seats.
I know him! Here Tyler was officially ordained.
Father-Son selfie.

This picture makes me laugh. Tyler and his parents were taking a picture together when Gary Walters, the President of the ECC and John Wenrich, one of the Executive Ministers joined them.

After the service there was a reception with cake and friends. Albert was so tired that he actually fell asleep in my arms (that hasn't happened in a couple of years)! Unfortunately, he's much heavier than he was a couple of years ago so I couldn't hold him very long. It was fun to catch up with friends and celebrate their collective hardwork. Well done, ordinands!!

Vacation 2016: Day 4

Friday started with Tyler and me dropping the kids off at Covenant Kids. For the entire meeting, there were activities that the kids could participate in. Tyler and I thought that sounded like a lot more fun for them than sitting around with us, trying to be quiet so they went. We dropped them off there on Friday morning, talked to a few people at the session and then headed out to scope out the waterpark.
We needed to check everything out, sans kids, and then make our game plan before trying to bring the kids. That's what we told ourselves at least. Mostly, Tyler tried out the slides and I tested the lazy river. We both talked to friends for quite awhile too. I ran off to meet with my spiritual director and Tyler talked to more friends. It made for a really low key but thoroughly satisfying morning.
At noon, we went and collected our children and fed them lunch. They enjoyed watching the golfers and ducks whilst recapping their morning's adventures and collectively daydreaming about their soon-to-be waterpark exploits. Good times.
In the afternoon, we took the kids back to Covenant Kids where they got to go on a field trip to a Butterfly Emporium!  Albert wasn't feeling it that afternoon though, so he got to go hang out with Grandma, Aunt Kendall and Lily for a couple of hours. Meanwhile, I took Tyler on an adventure.
All I told Tyler about our excursion was that we were going on an adventure. I was giving him directions so when, after nearly half an hour or driving, we ended up in a residential neighborhood, he was a little confused, especially when I had him stop at a house. See the confusion?
He was even more confused when I walked up to it, grabbed a key and went in. Our friend Brittany is an artist. When she was graduating from college, we went to her senior show and Tyler fell in love with a couple of her paintings. She has this wonderful ability to take a portion of scripture and paint it in a thought-provoking way. He loved that and said that he would love to have something like that in his office to stare at and inspire him while he was thinking deeply or writing a sermon.
Since Nick and Brittany live in Phoenix, I thought that his ordination would be the perfect time to arrange for him to get such a painting so I contacted Brittany and had her paint one of his favorite sections of Scripture. In the previous picture, he was reading the note she wrote about her painting (Nick and Brittany had to leave town but left everything for us to pick up when we were able). In the above photo, he is pondering it. He was thoroughly surprised (which I was so glad about because I was certain he was going to stumble across Brittany and I's facebook messages) and so, so grateful to Brittany for the time and effort she put into this wonderful piece of art.
Here he's pretending to be a cat burglar, stealing someone's priceless artwork. It did have to look strange if any neighbors were watching. We walked into a house when the owner's were obviously not home and walked out with artwork.  
After Tyler and my big adventure, we came back to the resort and took the kids to the waterpark!!
It was ridiculously hot outside so we had to be careful to wear our shoes whenever we weren't in the water. The pavement was HOT!!
During our waterpark play, the rest of the Johnson clan showed up at the resort to play as well. When we were all tired out and ready for some food, we headed out in search of some pizza. This was half of our crew.
And here was the other half.
We ended up at a restaurant that served some really good gluten free pizza. That was a yay from Addilyn and me!

Vacation 2016: Day 3

This day was our last driving day on our trip to Phoenix. We decided to stop off at the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, AZ. This motel was the inspiration for the Cozy Cone in the movie Cars. Very fun!
We drove through the Coconino National Forest and some mountains on our way to Phoenix. I really enjoyed saying Coconino and watching the transition from evergreens to saguaro cacti. The kids really, really enjoyed learning the proper usages of the words cactus and cacti. I love our weirdos!
After we arrived in Phoenix, we met our friends, Nick and Brittany, for lunch. Tyler had a meeting during the afternoon, so the kids and I tried to kill time while we waited for our room at the resort to be ready. As it was miserably hot outside, we thought it would be best to find water so we found a small pool to play in. The kids splashed around and I tried to make sure no one drowned while staying cool.
After we were able to get into our room, we got everything unloaded and squared away and then headed out for dinner with Nick and Brittany and their kiddos. We decided to hit a Chicago classic that has made its way to Arizona (probably due to the snow birds and the Cubs training here in the spring). Mmm...Italian Beef at Portillo's!
The youngest two of our group weren't really feeling the picture but the rest were having a good time!
After dinner, we headed back to our resort to scope things out and prepare for Friday. We thought these lit palm trees were particularly pretty.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Vacation 2016: Day 2

When I posted this day's collage, I stated that this day would be the biggest driving day of our trip. That didn't turn out to be true but it still was a really big day. We traveled through 4 states and spent over 12 hours in the van. We drove through southern Kansas, the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas and through most of New Mexico.
This picture was of our first major stop, at a playground in Liberal, KS. The kids were supposed to use this playground to work out their wiggles, but it was hot! They tried to run around but got too hot really fast.  
After Kansas, we headed through the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas, which were the first time in each state for the youngest two (and the first time back in these states in nearly 7 years for the oldest two). They didn't see much of these states but we're going to count them anyway. At a truck stop in Texas, we stopped for drinks; I got a Dr. Pepper slush. It was just like the Dr. Pepper "snoballs" I used to get all the time in college.
For dinner we stopped at a Chipotle in Albuquerque.
We spent most of this day looking for different states' license plates and watching the terrain slowly change from wheat fields to desert. By the end of the day, we were pondering whether Radiator Springs was nearby. We finished our day watching a bit of American Ninja Warrior at a hotel in Gallup, New Mexico. Good times.

Vacation 2016: Day 1

This summer we went on a pretty epic vacation. We traversed the majority of the Western states of the US and had quite an adventure along the way. If you follow me on facebook or instagram, you probably saw my series of daily picture collages. Here I'm going to elaborate on those collages and tell a bit of the stories behind the photos. Enjoy!
Here we are all fresh-faced and well-rested as we set out on our epic adventure!!
Since we knew we were going to be spending a lot of time in our van over the next couple of weeks, we made sure to bring a wide variety of activities. Each kid was given a new set of colored pencils and a fresh notebook to document our adventure (or just color in). Albert was trying it out.
The first day we left from Albert City (we only had to circle back once, about 20 minutes into our trip because we forgot Albert's blankets and monkey) and headed through Iowa, a bit of Nebraska, and northeastern Kansas as we headed to Grandma and Grandpa J's in El Dorado. This was only the first leg of our trip but the kids were still pretty excited to be out of the van once we got to G & G J's. They always enjoy playing a little Wii there. It is so fun to make a plane crash (hopefully none of them decide to become a pilot!).
After dinner, we got some more energy out by heading out on a walk. We headed to the campgrounds.
And a good time was had by all!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Asher's Birthday Interview

Asher: Age 7

What is your favorite color? green
Who is your best friend? that's hard...I'll say Henry but I like them all!
What is your favorite TV show/movie? Wild Kratts and Big Hero 6
What is your favorite thing to do outdoors? ride my new bike and play baseball with my new bat and ball
What is your favorite thing to do indoors? build Legos and play in the new box (the bike box)
What is your favorite game? Cops and Robbers
What is your favorite thing to wear? my 7 shirt!
Where would you want to go on vacation? when I'm 15 I'll go to Kansas City to ride the biggest waterslide ever!
What do you like most about your siblings? Addilyn - that she's a good artist; Elias and Albert - hmmm...I can't think of anything.
Now that you are seven, what would you like to learn/know? nothing...but I want to do science
What do you want to be when you grow up? train engineer and a building engineer and a racercar driver
What is your favorite toy? my new bike
What do you sleep with at night? the ladybug blanket
What is your favorite thing to do as a family? go to Kings Pointe...especially the outdoors part
What is your favorite art project? making snowmen with Mrs. Bean
What is your favorite subject in school? science
What is your favorite cereal? Cinnamon Life
What is your favorite lunch? burgers at school
What is your favorite dinner? Asher meatballs...and burgers
What is your favorite snack? fruit snacks
What is your favorite dessert? the cookies I brought to school (chocolate and marshmallow) and ice cream
What is your favorite drink? milkshakes...and lemonade...water...milk...I like drinks!
What is your favorite animal? my sick bear and Batty
What is your favorite song? Yellow Flickerbeat (by Lorde)
What is your favorite book? The Little Red Caboose
What is your favorite holiday? Christmas

If you'd like to compare his answers to previous years, here are the links:
6th birthday
5th birthday
4th birthday