Monday, December 29, 2008

Brotherly Love

So, just a few days after I posted about Luke's intensely "physical" love language...he proves me wrong. :) Brad's mom (NeeNee Linda to my boys) was here from Indiana visiting with us over Christmas. She showered the boys with gifts, washed the dishes after nearly every meal, and provided some one-on-one attention for each little boy. What a blessing! Brad and Sam took Linda home on Saturday, spending the night with her before returning home on Sunday. I don't like for us to be separated from one creates an uneasiness in me that I can't really explain. I am not fearful, fretful, or any other "fuls" - just feels strange and unnatural to me. Apparently, Luke feels the same way. :) The little boys had gone to bed right on time, and it was sweet to have only Luke to prepare for bed. We snuggled and drank chocolate milk together, read a few extra books, and prayed together. I tucked him in and he began to sob...saying sadly, "Sammy.....Sammy.....Sammy." He and Sam have shared a room for some time, and Luke has grown accustomed to Sam's presence at bedtime. Poor little guy was heartbroken without his big brother. I reassured him, whispered comforting words to him, prayed with him again....the sobs continued. I asked him if he'd like to talk to Sam on the telephone...tears stopped and a huge grin took over his tear-stained cheeks. Sam was so kind to Luke , saying..."It's okay, Luke. I am only here for a visit. I am coming home tomorrow. Don't be sad, Luke. I am coming home." So sweet to see my Sam comforting his little brother...and sweet to see the special relationship that these two share. God has knitted their hearts together - and I pray they remain friends for a lifetime.
Fast forward a few days to tonight (Monday)...Sam had fallen asleep on the couch after dinner. Luke was watching a little television with Brad and I (he was THRILLED to choose the dvd without Sam's input) when he noticed that Sam was snoozing. As he approached his big brother, I was fully prepared to reprimand him for trying to wake Sam. Imagine how I felt as I watched him carefully lean over and place a gentle kiss on Sam's head. AWWW! He did this several times before Sam stirred a little...and then Luke grinned and said, "Oh, Hi Sam!" What a blessing for this momma's heart! These sweet memories will come in handy tomorrow when they are arguing over a toy, having trouble keeping their hands to themselves, or saying hurtful words to one another. :) For tonight, I am just thanking God for giving them the gift of brotherly love.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Love Hurts

Couldn't think of a more fitting title for this post about my Luke's love. :) Luke is an incredibly physical little guy. He loves to jump, leap, skip, run, hop, wiggle, spin, and HUG. Brad and I often joke that after a "big hug" from Luke your spine is adjusted - no need to see your chiropractor! He squeezes your neck tightly, squints his eyes until they become little slits, and makes a sweet little sound of satisfaction. It is perhaps the purest, sweetest, love from a two-year-old boy.

I traveled to Indiana to attend a baby shower for a dear friend yesterday. What a joy to celebrate with my friend and the new little baby girl she is waiting to meet. I loved visiting with my girlfriends. Years of walking alongside one another through many seasons of life make these friends like a well-loved pair of slippers...a perfect fit and very comforting. :)

It was a long drive. I left my home before my boys were awake (my big boy, too), and returned home long after they had fallen asleep. I had missed them...and couldn't wait to see them this morning. Sam was up early - we chatted and snuggled in our bed this morning when he came to wake us. Caleb and Matthew were up next - eager to give some smiles and let me smooch them before breakfast. Luke slept in a little later than usual...and when he did wake, my mother-in-law went in to get him from his crib. When he saw me in the kitchen, he came running into my arms at full speed and gave me a hug "so big" that it hurt - in the most wonderful way. :) Luke's love hurts - and I am grateful!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Can This Be Happening?

Sam just informed me that we need a "Chia Pet" in our family. He would like to have one for Christmas. I asked where he had seen one of these pets. He told me that he had seen a commercial advertising these lovely creatures while watching 3-2-1- Penquins last Saturday morning. MAN! I thought that possibly this one program on network television would not be a bad influence! My son just asked for a CHIA PET!! He shared all of the wonderful features and options - "They even have Scooby Doo and Garfield." - "Every family should have one, Mom." Oh. My. Goodness.

Monday, December 15, 2008

We're Getting There...'s been a rough couple of weeks. The boys have been sick. Noses have been wiped, tears have been dried, babies have been rocked, nights have been sleepless, medications have been dispensed, the doctor has been called...and I think we're beginning to see signs of life in our home again!
A visit with our pediatrician confirmed my suspicions...Luke, Caleb, and Matthew all have one infected ear and a sinus infection. Ugh. Poor little guys. After the preparation and actual visit to the doc - I was exhausted too. I had no idea how much "cold weather" would affect my "preparing for departure" time. :) Packing the diaper bag with necessary supplies, shoes for 4, getting 4 coats/hats/mittens on, starting the van so it can be toasty when we get in, and then loading the 4 little men into the "momma mobile" - it takes a long time! The boys were wonderfully behaved - perfect little gentlemen. Sam shook the doc's hand and introduced himself and his little brothers. What a riot!
So, we are at home...recovering from our first illness in a looonnnggg time. Thank God we've been healthy for nearly a year. This is the twins first visit for an illness. We're blessed.
We're slowly but surely getting ready to celebrate Christmas. As the fog of illness lifts, we are doing more and more to welcome baby Jesus. Sam and I baked cookies today, I have done a little bit of shopping, food has been purchased for the feast, and the tree is finally up with lights - but, no ornaments yet. We're getting there...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Sweet Sam

It's been a day...actually, the past few days have been tough ones. We travelled to Indiana for Thanksgiving with our extended families - and returned home on Monday. We were all out of sorts, babies sleeping schedule was WAY off, Sam & Luke were tired, Brad was exhausted and facing the end of the semester stuff at school, and everyone was getting a cold. In addition to all of that, I have spent the last three days trying to unpack bags and wash the mountain of laundry. ugh.

I'll be honest and admit that I have not been in a "good" place emotionally or spiritually. I struggled to get my regular quiet time with God while we were away, didn't have access to my praise music to keep my eyes on Jesus, and it was stressful. Returning home to the "hectic" schedule that Brad has this time of year only made it worse. He is wrapping up the classes he teaches (grading papers, final exams, etc...), finishing up a major paper for one of the PhD classes he is taking, and then preparing for an intensive week-long class he will take next week. AGH!!! He has been leaving early, coming home for a few hours at dinner time, and then heading back to the library after the littlest boys are in bed at 7:00 pm. I miss him. Double ugh.

So, I have been struggling to find joy in my work these past few days and I have certainly not been "working as unto the Lord" - more like complaining and griping about every little chore I do. This is not typical of me - and my kids have noticed. Sam asked me why I was grumpy. Luke offered me one of his cookies. :) Such sweet jestures from my little men.

A few months ago, a sweet friend gave me a children's devotional book called, "Step Into The Bible" by Anne Graham. Sam, Luke, and I have been reading it together each night and loving it! It's a short, age-appropriate story from Scripture, a few discussion questions, and a new memory verse each seven days. Tonight, we read about Samuel. My sweet Sam listened intently as I read about Hannah's prayer for a son, God's faithfulness in giving her Samuel, Hannah keeping her promise and giving Samuel back to God, and then God calling Samuel. After we talked briefly about the questions, I prayed. After I finished, Sam covered his face with his hands and said, "God, I thank you Lord....and for praise to you. Help me put all that I learn down in my heart. Amen." Oh, how my weary heart was blessed beyond measure at the sincere prayer of my oldest son - so very wise at the tender age of five. He got a little emotional, which of course brought me to tears! I thanked him for sharing such a sweet prayer, told him that God loved him so much, and shared that his daddy and I were praying that he would someday answer God's calling just like the Samuel in the Bible. Oh, what a blessed day that will be!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Too Much to be Thankful For?

This time of year gets everyone in the mood to list their blessings, naming them one by one. I find myself in that place, too. Sure, I have my share of struggles, heartaches, and frustrations...just like everyone else. However, I am living a very blessed life. God has given Brad and I four little boys who are healthy, happy (mostly), growing, loving, and very busy. Our home is full of laughter, tears, chasing, hide-n-seek, tickling until you get that deep belly laugh, hugs that warm your heart, and a faith that is growing. We are blessed to be in a home that is more than adequate - elaborate by global standards. Our neighborhood is safe, our friends are caring, our family is supportive, we have access to great medical care, running water, vehicles that are safe and reliable (although aging and high mileage), educational opportunities abound, our shelves are bursting with books to help us grow in knowledge and understanding of God, we have several copies of The Bible, our closets and drawers burst with clothes to keep us warm, the refrigerator is never empty, and our bellies are always full. Sometimes I find myself wondering if we have too much to be know, truly thankful.

Don't misunderstand, I think we are all appreciative. My kids know that not everyone has a room full of toys and a nice warm bed to cozy up in each night - and they sometimes appreciate their belongings and one another. Brad and I fully recognize that we are blessed to be living this life - while it's often stressful, we have it easy! Somewhere, there is a mother who is uncertain if her young children will have food or clean water...and she is thankful when it comes. Somewhere, there is an elderly man who waits for a friendly visitor to come sit and talk for a while...he is so thankful for friendship when someone makes time to listen to him. Somewhere there is a family who loves one another deeply, but will be split up because they don't have a home that is safe...these folks are thankful for an opportunity to be together for a holiday or any day, for that matter. Somewhere, there is a little girl who waits in an orphanage or foster home praying that her "forever" family will come soon...she is thankful for a mommy and daddy when they arrive.

So, this year I am going to try to remind myself and teach my children to be really thankful for all that we have and what we don't have - and more importantly, to be generous enough to share the blessings. We are living a good life.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Several weeks ago, I was "tagged" by my sweet friend, Sarah, over at I have been putting it off for too long...mostly because while my life is very busy - it's not too exciting! :) The "tag" asks you to list seven random/odd things about yourself.

1. I have a "thing" about toilet paper. It must be put on the dispenser with the tissue coming over the top. The tissue hanging from the bottom annoys me.

2. Sometimes I watch "The Biggest Loser" while eating a bowl of ice cream. Does this make me the biggest LOSER? :)

3. Although I feel like our family is complete with four children, I am so drawn to adoption. I feel like God has been growing my heart and stirring something up in me for many years (since I was a child) regarding orphans. I am praying and I am anxious to see what God will do.

4. I do not like for my "hot" food and "cold" foods to touch. This makes my husband crazy. He simply doesn't understand.

5. I get a little perturbed when strangers say things like, " They are all boys? Oh, bless your heart." They always twist their face up when they say it, as if to show how painful it must be to have all boys. It bothers me that my boys hear people speak about them as if they are wild beasts and less than desireable. ugh.

6. I secretly want to be a photographer.

7. I can NEVER seem to locate my keys. It has always been a bit of an issue with me, but it has certainly gotten worse since the diaper bag has entered my life. When I don't have the kids along, I put my keys in my purse and when I do have the boys along, I put my keys in the diaper bag. You can see why I have a difficult time keeping track of them. Thank God Brad is a patient man. HE has had to bail me out more than once. :)

So, there you have it. Seven not-so-exciting-but-random things about myself. I am supposed to "tag" seven people - but, I am just not up for tagging people I don't personally know. :) I guess that could be considered another random fact about myself.. {grin}.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Works of Art

I guess it's true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Just this afternoon, I overheard Sam telling Luke, "I am sorry. You can't play with my C3PO. It's not a toy, Luke, it's a work of art."

Luke lined up all of the alphabet magnets on the refrigerator while I was cooking dinner tonight. He paid careful attention to his work, lining them up very straight and evenly spaced. After he completed his masterpiece, he threw his arms up in the air and shouted, "TA DA!"

I love that God created parents to be madly in love with their children. I love that Brad and I are the most loyal fans and enthusiastic cheerleaders that our boys will have. I pray that our love gives them a glimpse of the Father's love for them...and trust that they come to His amazing love for themselves.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Favorite Foto Friday

Sweet little Matthew at 6 months old. I love the glimpse of his little baby fat rolls.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pastor Jamie comes calling...

We are blessed to be part of a church family that truly values children as members of the Kingdom. The children's ministry is committed to helping us to grow our boys up in faith and love. Sam has several adult "friends" at church who really love him...and make him feel like he is so special. Just a wink from Mr. C.V. or a pat on the back from Miss Jean leaves Sam grinning from ear to ear. It's a given that Brad and I are NUTS about our boys - but, what a sweet thing it is to see someone else loving on your kiddos.
This afternoon, Sam was having his "quiet time" in our room while the little ones napped. He loves to look through books on our bed. :) Our pastor dropped by to give Sam a card. I thought this was sweet, but odd. Sam has never received a card from Pastor Jamie before, after all. :) Our Pastor and his wife were over for dinner last weekend. Apparently, Sam and Jamie had a conversation on the couch. Sam shared that he is concerned that he doesn't know everything about God. Pastor Jamie reassured Sam that he doesn't need to know everything. He told him that Jesus loves him and that is the most important thing to know. His card thanked Sam for sharing his heart with him and reminded him that Jesus loves him very much. I truly believe that our church loves children so dearly because our pastor does. Pastor Jamie models this love and it's contagious. Thank God for this church family!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I often feel like I have nothing to show for my work. You know, the kitchen is cleaned after breakfast only to be dirtied again at lunch time. The laundry is folded and put away, only to have another hamper full to wash again. The toys are picked up, only to have them scattered everywhere again. Some days, it feels like I am not productive at all - accomplishing nothing. So, I was "whining" to the Lord as I was mopping the kitchen this morning...suddenly, I began to think of all of the things I had done in just a few hours today. These numbers began to roll around in my head as God gently reminded me that I am getting things done:

4 little boys had breakfast
2 baby boys were bathed and dressed
3 diapers were changed
1 floor was swept and mopped
1 rug was vacuumed
4 loads of laundry were washed & dried
3 loads of laundry were put away
1 wrestling match with Sam and Luke
452 times I asked Sam to lower his voice while the babies were napping
1 telephone call from a friend
2 doors had sweet little fingerprints removed from them with the help of Windex
1 load of dishes unloaded from the dishwasher
1 yummy cup of coffee was enjoyed by the momma!
350 little boo-boo's were kissed as Caleb & Matthew pull-up on things and then fall down
8 pictures of my sweet boys were taken
1 game of chase and tickle was played with my big boys
7,420 fun stories were told by Sam

....and it's only 10:45 am. {{GRIN}}

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Madness Continues

By God's grace, we are mostly able to handle the day to day chaos that our life brings. I mean, really...four boys ages 5 and under can really stir up a ruckus! :) It's especially challenging now that Caleb and Matthew are crawling at the speed of light around our house. whew! You can always find toys on the floor, a stray sippy cup in the living room, some food crumbs on the table from lunch, and some laundry just begging to be put away - but, we manage. Balancing the busy life of raising boys, Brad working like mad to make his way through a PhD program with integrity, and one tired momma with a watchful eye on our home life(and our food supply) & homeschooling - it's a delicate balance to say the least. One unplanned event or unforeseen circumstance can cause us to cry, "UNCLE!" Read on for details... :)
Brad took the "big boys" (Sam, 5 and Luke, 2) to the park for some play time after dinner. I got busy cleaning the kitchen and readying the little guys (Caleb & Matthew, 9 months) for bedtime. Sam and Luke burst through the door with big stories of going down slides and learning to "pump" their legs on the swings. Brad shared a story of pushing Sam on the swing and not getting out of the way quickly enough while "faking Sam out" and standing in the path of his swing. Brad reached his hand out to stop the swing from hitting him and hurt his little finger on his left hand. He thought it was jammed. It looked awful - red and swollen -and hurt pretty badly. The next morning, he went to our local doc for an x-ray. He didn't see a break - but, wanted to send it on to a radiologist for a second look. In the meantime, Brad was to wear a splint on the injured finger. The babies thought it looked like a great teething toy! They were constantly trying to eat it. Fast forward nearly 3 weeks and the finger doesn't seem to be better. Brad was referred to an orthopaedist for an evaluation. This surgeon took one look at the x-ray and saw a break. ugh. Brad was to have surgery the following morning at 8:30 am.
We rustled up some babysitters for our kids. Thank God for our dear friends, Tricia and Mary, who each took two of our kiddos for the morning. Brad seems to be mending well and will follow up with the doc in two weeks to have the wires removed. OUCH. Poor guy. In the meantime, he is on the "disabled list" - no diaper changes, no lifting the boys, no washing dishes (as if {{grin}}), and no bathing the little ones, either. It's a challenge!
Thank goodness my parents were concerned enough for our well-being to come visit us over the weekend. :) What a blessing!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


This is another of those posts i have been intending to write for weeks now. The babies are crawling everywhere!
Caleb began "scooting" several weeks ago - using his big toe on his right foot to propel himself forward. He got a taste of freedom and there was no stopping the boy! He traveled such distances that he now has a callous on his "propeller" toe. Within the past week, he has lifted his tummy off of the floor and is crawling the more traditional way. :) He grins from ear to ear and squeals with joy as he makes tracks all over the house. Too cute!
Matthew watched his brother's antics for a couple of weeks before getting in on the action. He wasted no time with improper techniques...and quickly mastered traditional way of crawling on hands and knees.
They are both so excited to be mobile...and we are all trying to keep from stepping on their little hands as we walk past them. Sam is thrilled when they crawl to his room for a "brother playdate." It's been especially fun to watch them interact with one another on their own terms now that they are able to move freely about. They are often found crawling over on another - sometimes getting stuck on top of one another.
**This just in...Caleb has begun to pull himself up on our ottoman and couch. EEK! Sam walked at 10 months old and Luke at 9 months - this isn't good! :)

Miss Nancy Comes to Kentucky

We have so much more than sweet memories from our years of youth ministry in Indiana...we have treasured friendships that have endured the passing of time and the many miles between us now. One of our dear friends, Nancy, came to visit us this week. Nancy and her family (hubby Ron, daughter Hollyn, and son Sam) were all a vital part of our weekly youth ministry program. They even invited Brad and I to stay with their kids while they were out of town several times...such big fun! When we we waiting for our own Sam to arrive, Nancy helped me "nest" and shared in our anticipation for our little bundle of joy! We have "lived life" with them...and we're better people because of it.
The past few years have brought many changes for both of our families. Hollyn and Sam are both college students now (eek! - Ron and Nanner are empty nesters) and we have added 3 more boys to our family. Nancy has a little more time and freedom these days...and she came to visit us! Our visit began when we met at the orchard on Sunday afternoon. It was time for the annual Johnson family pumpkin picking trip and the orchard happened to be on Nancy's route to our house. This plan worked out perfectly because we'd forgotten our stroller! What parent's of 4 children (2 of whom don't walk yet) forget an important tool like a stroller! :) agh! So, Nancy and Caleb become best buddies as she carried him all over the orchard.
She was able to stay until Tuesday afternoon...and it was fun-filled and fantastic! She and Sam had an extended "date" together - getting new training wheels for his bike, looking at every possible toy in Wal-Mart, having lunch at Sam's fav place - McD's, and even a little grocery shopping. She cooked a yumm-o dinner for us, brought a carload of treasures from Indiana for us, took the babies for a walk, she did the dishes repeatedly, she sat in on Brad's class, she read books and played 'pretend" with the big boys, she changed the diapers of the little ones, she gave me a knitting lesson, and she just loved on all of us. It was so fun and refreshing to have her around...a breath of fresh air. She encouraged us, affirmed us, loved us, and made us laugh. God is so good to show His love for us through the kind words and deeds of dear friends.
We were all a little sad when she left. As she pulled out of our driveway, Sam said, "I miss her already." I did, too. Thanks for the visit, Miss Nancy. When are you coming back?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Long Time, No Post

Several times throughout my day, I think to myself, "This is blog-worthy material." or "I am totally going to blog about this one..." However, the day goes marching on and several brain cells die at the hands of my motherly duties. :) I just get caught up in the activity of our daily life and I simply can't remember what has happened during the day when I finally have time to blog. It's really such a shame, our home is full of so many side-splitting funny moments, sweet brotherly-love situations, and the craziness that 4 little boys can bring about just by "being" who they are.
So, I am trying to get better at remembering...and then blogging.. and then uploading pictures (I confessed to a friend that I currently have 746 pics on the camera just waiting to be uploaded). Be patient with me, friends. :)
Tomorrow is sure to be a day chock-full of moments to be shared on blog. I am going to take all 4 boys to the library for story hour. Rumor has it that a firetruck and the firehouse dog are making an appearance. This is an annual library event, and last year Sam nearly had a coronary when he saw the "dog" - a fireman in a dalmation costume. Tomorrow should be an eventful one. Pray that Luke doesn't bite the dog, run away, climb the truck, etc... and that the babies don't meltdown simultaneously. These are my biggest fears when I am out alone with the boys. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Attn: There is a FIVE year old in the house!

Our oldest son, Sam, celebrated his 5th birthday today. What a joy it has been, from start to finish. Speaking of the "start" of the day - it came at 5:30 am. Sam is a boy who really enjoys a celebration...and the thought of gifts, cake, birthday wishes, the potential of a package arriving in the mail for him - it was simply too much. He couldn't stay in bed a minute more. He was full of questions, as usual. Brad found Sam looking at himself this morning, deep in thought. Then he asked, "Do I look the same, Dad? Am I bigger? Does my voice sound the same?" This kid is simply too cute!

We celebrated the day in a million little ways - opened gifts from us first thing this morning, breakfast out with Daddy, his favorite candy for dessert following lunch -Kit Kat bar, we watched the old school Alvin & The Chipmunks cartoon movie during our afternoon quiet time, we enjoyed the meal that Sam chose ( cheeseburgers, mashed potatoes, and broccoli), sang "happy birthday" and blew out the candles on a cupcake, and then went to the park. whew....what a fun-filled day!
We've invited a few of Sam's friends over for a small party on Saturday afternoon (can't begin to describe how this confused our boy - another story for another post) at our house. He is excited - and so are we!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Frenzied Family Life

Our family life is full, to say the least. The busyness created by loving, playing with, caring for, and providing for our little men is enough to fill the days ( and nights, for that matter). In addition to that - Brad is one busy man. He teaches full-time, teaches 2 overload classes, is taking a full load of classes in his PhD program, is a research assistant for one of his professors, and is a seasonal employee at a boat dealership. whew....just listing his jobs makes me tired. :) But, I love that he knows what matters most...his role as "daddy" to our boys and husband to me. He really "gets" it and I'm so grateful. Brad does his best to be as "available" as possible. However, his plate is fairly full during the daytime hours. Managing our "family schedule" becomes a chore that I don't like. Between scheduling doctor's appointments for the 4 boys and myself, playdates with friends, babysitters for different events, homeschooling Sam, Bible Study, and our family/friends who are planning to visit's a juggling act. :) That doesn't include those "special" events - weddings, birthday parties, baby dedication for the twins, etc... ugh. It can be a little overwhelming if I allow it to be. These days, I am doing my best to remember that I don't have to carry it all - God cares about even the smallest details of my life. My mundane, "groundhog day" like life. God has been faithful to remind me that while my life seems like a repeat of changing diapers, doing laundry, buying groceries, cooking meals, reading books, playing with kids, cleaning up toys, cleaning up messes, changing clothes, feeding children, etc... it really is so much more. In caring for my boys and Brad, I am loving them with a selfless love that is of God - it has to be...I am too selfish to do it alone. In changing diapers, bathing kids, preparing meals, dispensing kisses and hugs - I am showing my kids that they are valuable and precious. They are worth all of my best efforts and time. My actions (when I get it right, with God's help) are literally "writing" the good news of God's love on the hearts of my little boys. So yes, this life we are living is nutty - but, so worth it. God is loving us, providing for us, blessing us, and showing us that being in the center of His will is the best place to be - in spite of the frenzy! :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

6 Months

The days are going by so quickly that I am afraid that it will all be a blur just a short time from now. I am smart enough to recognize that these are some of the sweetest days of my life...and I at least want to have a written record of the sweetness. I need to be more diligent in blogging. Finding time is the biggest issue - and the energy to upload photos. Why does uploading them seem like such an overwhelming chore to me? :)

The "little bits" are 6 months old now...hardly seems possible. The baby boys are incredibly cute and healthy. Caleb is 15 lbs. 9 oz. and Matthew is a whopping 17 lbs. Wowza - they have come a long way from their birth weights of 6 lbs. 3 oz. and 6 lbs. 1 oz. respectively. They are smiling, laughing, cooing, rolling, pooping like pros, eating solids, teething, drooling, and sleeping well. Caleb is even beginning to "scoot" across the floor a bit.

On July 17, 2007 we learned we were doubly blessed. I went to the OB for a routine check at approximately 10 weeks gestation. After signing in at the desk, I chose a magazine and settled in for a little reading time while I waited. I hadn't even turned a page when my name was called. The ultrasound tech ushered me into the dimly lit room for the first peak at God's newest gift to us. She quickly found the baby and then let me hear the heartbeat. I cried. Something about hearing a tiny little person's heart beating so strongly gets me everytime. :) She used her keyboard to type in the words "the baby" to appear on the printed version of this image. I was excited to be able to share this with Brad and the boys. I knew Sam would be intrigued by this shadowy black and white image that was to be his brother or sister. After printing the pic, she moved the "wand" around a little more on my belly...after a long pause, I heard the words, "Oh no!" My mind was immediately filled with a thousand horrible thoughts. Thankfully, she followed the comment quickly with the words, "there are two." In my wacked out state of mind, I asked, "Two what?" The technician politely explained that there were two babies. I began to laugh like a nervous school girl...and between the laughing and crying I managed to ask if she was kidding (at least 10 times). As I began to gather my emotions, I asked if she was possibly mistaken...afterall, I have a pair of ovaries - could she have misidentified a body part? She sweetly reassured me that she was certain...and my ovaries didn't have heartbeats. :) I was in total disbelief. It had never occurred to me that I would possibly be pregnant with twins - not even for an instant.

I immediately called Brad(he was at home with Sam and Luke). He handled the news with grace and a good laugh. He is such a good guy...he saved the fear until I got home. :) He gave me a hug and a smile that seemed to say, "This is a good thing...we will be okay." Then, he immediately began making plans to deal with this 'double blessing.' He said something like - " I am quitting school, resigning my teaching position, and we are moving back to Indiana to be near our family. We need help." And people think he is the calm one....hehe. :) I remember sweet Sam saying, "So, I hear you have two babies in your belly, Mom."

So, here we are just over one year has passed. We have survived an uncomfortable (but very healthy) pregnancy, switching docs mid-pregnancy, a c-section, the flu just 2 weeks after the babies were born, buying a new house and moving just 3 weeks after the twins arrived, colds, runny noses, doctors appointments, ups and downs....and many sleepless nights. :) In the midst of all of that madness, Brad has managed to sell many boats, teach many students greek, read many bedtime stories, change many diapers, and take a few doctoral level classes. whew. I am tired just thinking about it! :) But, the end result is a very, very good life with 4 precious little boys...and a very good man. It's crazy, but my life is sweet.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Family Fun

My brother and his family spent a few days with us last week. My boys adore Uncle Jeff and Aunt Laura and their 4 kids: Morgan (17), Zack (8), Grace (6), and Lillee (3). The kids rode bikes, played trains, pretended to "cook" many meals, ran around inside and out, played hide and seek, and had some serious fun. Can you imagine the fun with one teenager and 7 kids age 8 and younger all under one roof? :) We had a blast and my boys fell into bed each night from exhaustion! Woot!
Morgan celebrated her 17th birthday with us - so fun! We had a little party, complete with cake, candles, and ice cream. She is a lovely young lady and we all love her a bunch. Hard to believe that she is 17 already. She is not your average teenager ( well, she is attached to her cell phone at all times, she never leave home without her music, sleeps late, never cleans her room, and she must check her e-mail daily) - she is super cool. She plays with my kids and even makes time for her not-so-hip Aunt Tina from time to time. Wow! Love ya, girl!
I'll add some of the pics from our family fest later today.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Summer Fun & Camp Jamie

The pace of daily life around here is fast to say the least. There are daily things to be done: making beds, cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry, changing diapers, cooking, etc... If I neglect these things for too long - it gets out of control and I get overwhelmed. The mountain of laundry and overflowing sink full of dishes make me want to run and hide. I struggle with finding balance between daily responsibilities and fun! I don't want my boys to remember the "spotless home" of their childhood (ha! fat chance!) - I want them to remember me playing with them...not just cleaning things and running errands. So, I am making time and creating energy for playing each day - and it's been rewarding! We've been tickling, wrestling, chasing one another around the house and baking treats together. It's hard work to have fun - but, so worth it!

Last Tuesday, we decided that it was time to mix it up a little. We arranged for Miss Phyllis (babysitter extrordinaire) to come over to care for Caleb and Matthew while we headed out on a "family date" with the big boys. We put on our suits, grabbed out towels, packed some snacks and juice boxes...and then we were finally ready to go to the local pool for some fun! The water temperature was FRIGID!! We couldn't get Sam into the water and we couldn't manage to keep Luke out of it. Sam allowed me to carry him around a bit - but nothing other than his feet got wet. Luke, on the other hand, was a wild man! His body was quivering with excitement when we arrived...and shivering from low body temperature when we left! :) He had a blast and didn't want to leave. We're making plans to go again soon. Brad and I feel like it's important to create some "big boy" time for Sam and Luke - and they LOVE it! My only regret? I didn't take the camera!! ugh.

Sam and Luke have been enjoying "Camp Jamie" for the past couple of weeks. No, we haven't shipped them off to summer camp - they are a bit young for that! I have not found a way to get all 4 of the boys outside to play with great success. By the time I get babies loaded into the stroller, sunscreen applied, shoes/sandals on, and everyone outside - a baby is fussy or sleepy, Sam has to potty, etc... Luke is only 2 and still fairly unpredictable - certainly can't be left unattended outside (our yard isn't fenced in). So, if one of us needs to come inside - we ALL have to come inside. It's labor intensive, to say the least. The boys need to be outside enjoying the sunsine, fresh air, riding bikes, and playing baseball. I prayed like mad, asking God to help me be creative and to provide the help I needed in order to meet each boy's need. God has provided and I am learning to think "creatively" and "let go" a bit. That's how "Camp Jamie" was born. Jamie is an amazing 13 year old boy who lives next door to us...he loves Jesus, loves his family, and he loves playing with my "big boys." We've hired Jamie to play outside with Sam and Luke twice a week. "Camp Jamie" is a huge success! Sam and Luke LOVE Jamie - and jump and squeal with delight when they see him coming to our door! God is so good to meet my need!

So, I am learning to "let go" a little - and allow God to bring some other folks along to help me from time to time. My boys will be richer for it and I will too. God is so good.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Work in Progress

While Luke napped this afternoon, Sam and I were chatting. While I nursed Matthew, we pretended that we were superheroes and we were saving people from "super bad villians." After we had saved enough people...he moved to the toy basket and found our "baby doll" (another story for another post!) and bottle. He began to feed his baby and talk to me about being a daddy. I told him that I hoped his baby was as sweet as Caleb & Matthew...without a moment of hesitation, he responded with, "They are a work in progress." Then he just grinned. What a kid!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Picture Perfect

Hard to believe it, but Caleb and Matthew are 3 months old, it was time for a "photo shoot" with our friend, Carissa. She came to our house last Saturday morning and we had a great time. She is a new "mommy" herself, she and Scott adopted a little bundle of joy just 2 weeks ago! Her little Evelyn is so tiny and precious...I keep telling Carissa that surely her daughter can find a suitable husband among my 4 boys!

She was able to capture each of the boys unique personalities in spite of the madness of trying to photograph 4 boys who are all under the age of 5. We started by taking pics of the little guys first, and it was a challenge. Matthew, who is normally a smiley little guy, was very somber and would hardly crack a smile. Caleb smiled a little bit, but not enough to catch his little dimple. They are just precious!

Sam was a little jealous and feeling the need to be in the spotlight for a bit - so, she took a few shots of him. He is growing up so fast...both physically and emotionally. He is a very tall 4 year old and people often think he is older than he actually is. He wears a size 1 shoe - the same size as his cousin Zack who is in 1st grade. My Sammy Boy is becoming such a little gentleman and so incredibly handsome.

Luke was totally uninterested in participating in the picture taking. He really preferred to watch "Larry Boy" cartoons and relax in the living room. We finally coaxed him into his bedroom to play - and Carissa was able to get some terrific shots of him. Luke has the sweetest cheeks and these amazing long eyelashes. What a cutie pie!

Wow - these pictures are such treasures. I am so thankful to have this time in our lives documented in a permanent way - so beautifully. These are sweet days. The sounds of barefooted little boys chasing one another through the house while giggling uncontrollably, little babies cooing and sometimes crying, and sweet mealtime prayers being shared around our table. It's absolute madness, also. Lots of little boys needing a lot of help with a lot of things! Being "momma" to Sam, Luke, Caleb and Matthew is a demanding job - but, one that I am so blessed to have. :) God has been so good to me.

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Great Outdoors

Living with these little boys of mine is an adventure to say the least. Watching them play outside is one of my greatest joys - they enjoy it to the fullest! Last weekend, my parents came to visit us. This is always a thrill for the boys. Sam and Luke watch for hours out the window in anticipation of their arrival...and Caleb and Matthew are grateful for some extra arms to hold them. My mom is the queen of gift giving. She always brings the boys something, usually something small like a favorite snack, candy, or a fun little trinket of some kind. This time, however, was different. Pa and Gran brought a "sand and water table" for the big boys. We got it assembled quickly and poured in 50 lbs. of sand - and the fun began! They played for hours that day and didn't want the fun to end when it was time for dinner and bedtime routine to begin. So, I am looking forward to bikes racing down our driveway, picking up worms after the rain, playing in the sand, swimming in our little is going to be a great summer.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Twin Shock

Three months after delivering twins, I still find it hard to believe that I actually had two babies at the same time. That sounds so silly, but it's true. Clearly, I know that there are two infants in our house - afterall, I change the diapers around here! Most of the time, I am just going about my daily "mom" business and don't give the "twinnyness" of Caleb and Matthew much thought. However, from time to time...I am overwhelmed by God's goodness to our family and His amazing sense of humor! :)
I am in awe of the way God gives just what we need - even when we don't know it! Had you asked me a year ago if I would like to have twins, I would have never answered "yes." Yet, here I am loving these toothless, grinning, chubby little boys who keep us up all night! I wouldn't go back now if I were able to. Adding Caleb and Matthew to our family has been so good for all of us...Brad has mastered multi-tasking, Sam has discovered the joy of making them smile and he loves it, Luke likes to touch their little toes and smile, and I am remembering to ask for God's help with my mothering and am amazed at all that I am capable of because of His faithfulness. God is good.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I finally did it...I left the house with all four of my children by myself. Well, sort of. :) Sam attends preschool on Wednesday mornings at a church near our home. I dropped him off at 9:00 am and got some much needed "alone" time during the 12 minute drive home...I even splurged for a fountain diet coke for the ride. I arrived at home and Brad left for his office. So, this meant for the first time I was to pick Sam up with the 3 little ones in tow. I was only a little anxious - you just never know what might happen around here. To add to the drama, Luke isn't feeling so well. He has got it all: runny nose, sneezing, low-grade fever, not sleeping well, and miserable. I got everyone loaded up and arrived at the church a few minutes early. YAHOO! Sam's classroom is on the second floor of the building and there is no elevator. It's simply impossible for me to tote the twins in car carriers and Luke upstairs to get Sam. Thankfully, his teacher was willing to bring him down to the van for me. What a blessing! It was really exciting to think that I could actually do this - I am no longer a prisoner in my own home! Before I claim total victory maybe I should remember that it was a 12 minute drive and I didn't have to actually go into a store or accomplish anything - simply to bring everyone home again. :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Heavenly Lunch Conversation

You can never be sure what lunch time will bring around the Johnson house - you can usually count on some food, a mess/spill, and some entertaining conversation. Today, our chat began with Sam asking me about career choices.

S: Mom, can I be a pirate when I grow up?

M: You can be a pirate if that is what God wants you to be.
He turned to his yummy pizza and yogurt for a few bites.

S: Are there waiters in Heaven?
I quickly scanned my memory for some scripture reference dealing with waiters and service in Heaven - came up blank. :)

M: I am not sure...what do you think?

S: I hope so...(long pause) I don't want to go to Heaven.

M: Why not?

S: I am afraid of heights.

I chuckled out loud...and then went on to explain that Heaven isn't a scary place at all - and we have no reason to be afraid because God loves us and will take care of us. Man, this kid keeps me on my toes. In case you're wondering what Luke was doing during this conversation, he was shoving cottage cheese in his mouth by the handful. :) Life is good.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pretty Incredible

At 4 years old, Sam is at the height of imaginative play. He loves to pretend all of the time - playing with his action figures, his "little people" barn, with his stuffed animals, and he also loves to pretend he is a superhero. A good friend often shares the clothes that her sons have outgrown with us for Sam. In the last "batch" of clothes, Sam found these "Incredibles" pajamas. For the longest time, he simply slept in them. Now, they have become an obsession! He wears them at least 2 or 3 days a week, taking them off only to be washed sometimes. His "costume" also has accesories - gloves & boots (aka socks) and a "mask" (brad's freaky looking fishing glasses with the lenses out). Recently, I was standing at the sink washing dishes when he asked, "Mom, have you seen any crimes? I am a crimefighter and I need to find a crime." :) You can imagine the joy when I found some pj's in Luke's size! Sam nearly had a - and instantly began to plan a way for our entire family to have some. He was sure to include that i needed to have another baby so there could be a girl to be the "sister." I chuckled and suggested we'd have to remain an all boy crime fighting team - with a mom. You never know what the day will bring...these boys of mine are pretty incredible.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


In the past week or two, several people have commented on how "calm" I seem. One friend was even genuinely surprised that our home didn't feel stressful or chaotic. These sorts of reactions make me laugh. I guess because this is my daily life, my just seems normal - it's all that I know. I had never considered what other people must think when they learn about the number of young boys we have in our family. When you add Brad's teaching position at the seminary and his PhD work into the really makes people's heads spin! But, this is our life. Somehow, God continues to bless us with just enough energy (thank God for coffee) to keep up with the pace of our daily lives - and the return on our investment is so great. A "big hug" from Luke, the sound of Sam's giggles, a snuggle from Caleb, or the first grins from makes it all worth it! Now, don't get me wrong - it's nutty at times and I find myself desperately wanting even 5 minutes of silence! But, all in all, it's not as bad as folks might think. If fact, we LOVE this life we've been given! :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Back at It!

Okay, so it's been over one full year since I last posted. I had the best of intentions when I began this blog - it would be a great way to "journal" some of the daily happenings around here. Our house is full of laughter, loud noises, busyness, and a few tears. I want a record of these daily blessings - I know I will soon forget them. I guess I got busy and stopped posting. It's funny, I am busier than ever now that the twins have arrived...but, I feel like journaling these days is more important that ever before. The days are going by so quickly...and I don't want to forget a minute of it! Really, would you want to ever forget the site of little Luke in Mr. Potato Head's specs?