Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day with Aunt Dottie and Mimi

We started ladies day out right at Berolina Bakery in Montrose. What a lovely selection of pastries and breads they have...yum!
Then we made our way to the Valencia mall for a ride on the carousel- one of Madison's favorite things to do! Lately she's been making a great elephant noise, so we rode him :)
After a nap, Aunt Dottie and Maddie cuddled on the couch.
Here they are watching a Praise Baby movie....
too cute!

Missionary Wall Map

The Johnson's love our church (Grace Community), and we love the missionaries our church supports! We have so many of those cards with the missionaries picture, where they serve, and how to pray for them. I thought it would be fun to get a world map and show Maddie where they all are. The map was $4 at Target, and the missionary cards are, of course, free. What a fun and inexpensive project. I am going to rotate through the cards, because we have so many to choose from. If you want to see a list of our missionaries go here. Then if you want to learn more about a specific missionary, you just click on their name. I hope Maddie will learn a few things from this project...
1. She is not the center of the universe :)
2. That God is at work in so many different places all at once
3. How to pray for our missionaries
4. The names of countries and where they are on the map
5. That Papa is in the Czech Republic right now
6. And I'm sure I'll think of more as she grows older

Monday, January 25, 2010

Heavenly Homemaking with Anna

Once again our CSUN ladies took a morning trip over to Anna Sander's home for some cooking lessons. Here's what we learned:
How to cook the perfect bacon- not too brunt, not rubbery, just right. Then we poured off some of the fat and used a little of the bacon grease to cook the eggs. They had a wonderful smokey flavor to them!
After having a little breakfast, we began making a Valentine's Day dinner menu. First off was making some delicious Red Velvet "Kisses" Cupcakes (there was a surprise kiss in the center of each one). We also got the recipe for cream cheese icing.
Then we moved on to marinating a tri-tip with roasted garlic. We also put together some sides- mashed potatoes, steamed zucchini, and spinach souffle. Amazing!!!
While those dishes were cooking, our special guest, my mom, talked about how to choose cookware. It was so good for these gals to hear the different options out there and how to pick what you want. This is a life time investment!!
Next, we decorated the cupcakes! We also made a chocolate eclair cake. Our morning was full, as you can tell!
Aunt Dottie was our honored guest, so she got the first plate to taste all we had made. (She gave it two thumbs up)
Here's a few of the gals enjoying the new recipes we learned.
Thanks to Anna for all the preparation and planning that went into this wonderful morning. We were blessed by your efforts!
We are so glad Aunt Dottie is here visiting again! Here we are watching Maddie eat a cookie this afternoon.
Her favorite word:
I miss you Papa! (he's traveling right now, and Maddie keeps calling for him when we go to Mimi's house).

Monday, January 18, 2010

How Do I Pray for My Family?

For the last couple months I've been trying to think of a way to help myself faithfully pray for all the things that I want to take to the Lord. It seems that if I don't have a plan, it doesn't happen. I've asked several older women how they have prayed for their families over the years, and got some wonderful advise. Here's what I came up with that seems to work for me: I am taking a certain day once a month to journal/write down all the things that are on my heart to pray for in an ACTS format (starting with Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and lastly Supplication/requests). I write it out as a prayer to the Lord, and then am able to look back at it over the month and pray for these things. Then the next month I mark down the things that were answered, and then write out the new month's prayer. I like being able to look back and see how God is working over time in our lives, and see how He has answered prayer (not always the way I imagined, either :). It's helpful to verbalize to God what I need to work on personally, how I can be praying for my husband, what things I need to focus on in training Maddie, and other random things that are happening in our life. I traced Maddie's little hand right over the page so that it becomes a keepsake as I look back over God's faithfulness in the years to come. All the pages are going inside a three ringed binder for safe keeping.
Besides the changes from month to month to pray through in life, there are so many Scripture verses I want to pray for Madison as she grows up. Here are some themes and verses to continually pray for your children.
I hope this encourages you to be a prayer warrior. It is a comfort to know that God hears the prayers of the righteous (Prov. 15:29)!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Rachel's Pictures

Rachel, Maddie, and I hang out every other Monday morning. She has become a dear friend to our family. We are thankful for her friendship, service at CSUN Bible Study, and encouragement to us personally. Our last Monday morning together, Rachel took some pictures of Madison (who is almost 18 months!). To view the photos go here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fun Times with Mads

I love watching Maddie carry her dog by the ear and drag her blankie around after her nap- so cute!
Jesse has performed two weddings the last two weekends. He did a great job! Besides that, he just turned in his thesis and completed his THM. He has been a hard working man, and I'm so proud of him!
What a beautiful wedding- only in CA can you have a January wedding on the beach and it be in the 70's!


One of my favorite parks in our area is O'Melvany. Mimi, Maddie, and I spent a morning there this week.

She loves these sunglasses :)
After exploring, we had a delightful picnic lunch!
Here's my little lady- girl after my own heart- she loves shoes :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Jesse!

And the award for best Dad goes to....
Whether Jesse is being goofy in a pink Snuggie and Maddie's sunglasses, or
walking her down the aisle at a wedding, he is clearly a fabulous Daddy.
I am thankful to be married to such a hard working, fun-filled man, who leads our family by example in Christ-likeness. Happy Birthday, Jesse!
Your girls love you :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Denver- Day 4

Sunday morning we all got dressed to go to Great Grandpa and Grandma's church (Maddie was really the only one who got dolled up in her new dress from GiGi and Grandpa).
Here's what we call Madison's "crazy face".
Maddie loves playing with Great Grandpa!
Uncle Mike did one last puzzle with Madison before we were off to the airport.
And he wrote her name in the snow!
Thank you so much for a wonderful trip! We miss you all.
She entertained herself with these baskets for about a half hour in the airport! We were laughing :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Denver- Day 3

Grandpa and Maddie reading the comics with Dog.
Uncle Mike was pretty fun- Madison loved playing with him! This is a particularly good photo of him, too :)
We went for a little family walk while it was snowing.
One more snowman picture!
Jesse decided to stuff me head-first into the snow!
Another walk just the two of us at sunset.
Then more family joined the party for dinner. Here is Jesse's Uncle Bob and Aunt Cindy.
Maddie took a special liking to Uncle Bob. His sneezing Christmas frog was pretty entertaining!
We enjoyed talking with Rick (Jesse's cousin) and his wife Nikki. They had fun looking through the Israel album I made Jesse for Christmas.
The Johnson men!
Jesse, JJ (brother), Homie (Dad), Uncle Bob, and Rick.

Clint is coming to town!!!

Jesse and Clint have been friends for along time. He is now a pastor in South Africa
but is coming to town for a few days for class. Jesse is excited, and looks forward to schooling
him at chess repeatedly.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Denver- Day 2 (Christmas Day!)

Woke up to find Grandpa and GiGi had arrived!
They brought these blocks that entertained everyone for the entire weekend!

GiGi brought Maddie three pairs of shoes!
Great Grandpa helped Maddie get them on.


Story time with the Great Grandparents.
GiGi added Madison to the place mats for Christmas dinner.
Check out Jesse's mouth :)
After dinner, Jesse shared a devotional, then we sang several Christmas carols, and opened gifts.
This frog sings Christmas songs!
She loves her books!
She loved opening the gifts, and there were lots to open!
This jersey was actually Jesse's from his first soccer team (when he was 5). Madison wore it with pride!
Jesse's Great Grandmother made him this sweater! How cool that Maddie can now wear it.
Helping Grandpa open his gifts.
We destroyed the living room!
All the excitement tired out Maddie, so she just laid down on all the wrapping.
Playing with Great Grandpa's feet!
Aunt Di, Maddie, and a Snuggie- what could be cuter?
JJ, Danielle, Jesse, me, Uncle Mike, Aunt Di, Homie, Gale, Great Grandparents, and Aunt Deb.
It even snowed on Christmas!
A winter wonderland. We watched the foxes play in the backyard.