31 January 2009

Things That Bother Me

Sarah here, again. Last night, some house guests we had over got somewhat irritated at me for saying that I "hate my house." The truth is I don't hate our house. Our house has some great bones, lots of charming character, and it's not a cookie cutter house (where it looks like every other one on the block). However, at least I think like every wife/homeowner is, there are things that I don't like about the house. So today, I'm going to share one of those things, and see if you have any ideas on how to help me get it done.
This is a picture of a corner in our sunroom. It drives me crazy. I don't know how to get it cleaned. This morning, I got me a bucket of hot, soapy water, a new sponge, and took after it. But it didn't really work. I really wish I could just bring a power washer in and just spray the whole thing down, but I don't think that's plausible. Take a closer look:
I know! It's disgusting- I can't believe this is a picture of something in my house. Any ideas?

Back in business...

Sarah here! 

I got to sleep in this morning, and when I woke up around 930, Jim came in and said he had something to apologize for. I got really worried; what had he done? Wrecked my car into the gate? Deleted a TV show I had recorded and really wanted to watch? No, he had just deleted the background off the blog. NO BIG DEAL! 

So, we are back up and running, a little toned down this time, with some new and updated pictures. The picture of Jim and I is from our Christmas Eve service at our church. The church rented snow making machines so that when you came outside, it was snowing. A fun thought...

The picture of Janey is from January 27th, our big ice day. She was being super cute, and so I had to snap a picture. Such a good girl! 

That Ugly Background

In case you are wondering why this formerly beautiful page is now an ugly sheet of light blue...well, I was playing around with the settings tab and managed to delete the background that Sarah had for the blog (and I don't know where she retrieved it from originally)!  So, until she wakes up...it is going to be ugly.  My apologies to everyone--especially my wife!

30 January 2009

Breakfast in Bed

Jim here--just wanted everyone to know that I am not sitting at home in bed eating french toast while my lovely wife goes and works out at 6am. I HATE working out indoors...especially running (weights are okay but I hate them as a matter of principle...as you can probably tell by looking at my physique). So, when she leaves to go to the gym, I put on 32 layers of clothing and go run in 15 degree weather. And, you know what, it's invigorating! I have no problem waking up I can assure you.

Also, please allow me to say that there is nothing worse as a husband than being unable to help your wife when she's sick. And I feel like I'm making it worse when I try to sympathize because, well, I can't really sympathize.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Sarah here (I'm identify myself from a previous suggestion by a good friend). Jim sent this article out yesterday, so you may have already read it. After reading it, and simply because we are trying to be healthier people (hence, my recent joining of a local health club here in town, where I have been working out at the break of dawn every morning) we are going to do our best, living in Wichita Falls, to eliminate HFCS from our home. Some things I've discovered that HFCS: Dr. Pepper (that's going to be a toughie to give up), Frosted Flakes, and coke, of course.

Brutally Honest About....

Today makes two full weeks that I have gotten up before 6 in the morning and today was day 2 of being at the gym at 6 am to work out with Justin and Amber. However, yesterday I learned that you, or rather I, with all of my tummy issues, should not drink a glass of orange juice because it is too acidic for me to work out on. The plan is to do 30 minutes on the elliptical and then lift weights. Yesterday, I got to almost 30 minutes and all of the sudden, it hit me. I had to make a run for the bathroom. I had so little time, that I couldn't even find the light and had to wait until Amber came in there to turn on lights for me. I felt so bad, all of the sudden. Had an awful tummy ache and just wanted to go home and go back to sleep. After a second trip, I finished up my workout, and headed home, only to sit in our bathroom for another 30 minutes at least. I missed class that day, and just felt crummy.

Today, though, I just didn't eat breakfast before going to work out. I felt fine and didn't have to make any emergency trips to the bathroom, but I definitely could tell that my body was a little less energized. I'll pick being a little less energized over pooping my brains out- it seems to be the lesser of the two evils.

28 January 2009

Lots of Catching Up To Do...

Because there is so much to catch up on, I find that the only way to do this in any orderly fashion is to do it in sections.

Work: I am loving my job, and Jim is loving his. We are fully into Disciple Now season and things are going to get busy. Our theme this year is Awaken, and I feel that this will be the best one yet. We are focusing on our culture, and how it relates to our students. 

Ice Days: Tuesday, I awoke at 6 am to check closings. We were expec
ting ice to accumulate, but here in North Texas, you can never truly trust a forecast until the day gets here. I got on the MSU website and was excited to find out that school was canceled. And since WFISD
 was canceled, I didn't have to be at work until 10. However, I received a text message around 830 letting me know that the church was officially closed and I had a day off to enjoy. Jim, well, his boss told him not to come in either. We turned it in to a really productive day, getting the house cleaned, laundry done, and I worked on homework. The only time we got out was to go to my mom's house to help my sister watch the kids and feed them dinner. The roads were definitely dangerous, but if you went slow, you were fine.

Janey: Janey hasn't known what to do with all this weird weather. She wet in the house, on the bath mat, of course, and while we were gone, proceeded to eat a plastic bag of 2 M&M's packages, a bag of skittles, and a package of starbursts, wrappers and all. I was so worried that she would die (because I've always heard that when dogs eat chocolate they die) but it turned out that all she had was a lot of bad, loud gas, all night long. 
Call To Die: Jim and I are doing a devotional together called "A Call To Die" by David Nasser. Basically, we had to "die" to something for 40 days. I gave up Facebook, and he gave up watching TV by himself. So far, the important points have been: 1) Jesus' commitment to obey the Father was greater than His desire for approval and comfort. 2) Because Satan is not gentle in dealing with us, we cannot be gentle in dealing with him. 3) Our "entertain me" culture has made us spiritually soft and emotionally mushy. We expect things to come to us too easily.  Any thoughts?

My Dumb Assignment: I am in a class called Personal Relations and Interactions. We had this assignment that I just really hated doing. We were "encouraged to take an active role in my education this semester." I had to develop my own learning objective based on Fink's Model of learning and then prove how I was going to measure my success in attaining them and prove it on each test in order to get the curve. Ridiculous. Did you ever have an assignment that you thought was just pointless? 

21 January 2009

Baseball in January

Sarah and I are settling in for bed right now (who am I kidding...she's been asleep for 30 minutes) and, as part of our normal bedtime tradition, I turned on the Texas Rangers game radio broadcast.  Yes, baseball doesn't start again for another 2 months...we are listening to an archived game through MLB.com from May 6, 2008.  There is just something about a baseball game on the radio that is relaxing and comforting; we both sleep better when we fall asleep to the Rangers...and I am well aware how weird it is to listen to a baseball game that is over 6 months old.

Are there any weird daily habits you've developed that people on the outside would think are goofy but which serve you well?

I have become a gardener!

As Sarah alluded to in her last post, she now has dirt in her sun room--on purpose. After spending the last 4 months looking forward to finally being able to grow something...it has arrived! I think this is going to be my major hobby going forward and I cannot wait for warmer weather so I can really get my hands (and knees) dirty outside!

Anyway, I started seeds indoors on Monday night for a few different veggies: artichokes, brussel sprouts, collard greens, onions, leeks, kohlrabi, broccoli, cabbage, and alpine strawberries (the lone fruit of the bunch). Some of these veggies will be ready to transplant outside in as little as 4 weeks while others (notably the strawberries) will have to stay indoors until the last frost of spring. The next two months will be spent growing some other stuff indoors, planting some seeds outdoors, and transplanting from indoors to outdoors...and I couldn't be more excited. This is my first time to try my hand at gardening and I expect a tough go while I figure things out. My goal is this: to be able to buy no produce from the supermarket from May through October of this year. I don't know if I can succeed but I am going to try.

When I tell people that I'm trying to grow a garden that will allow us a measure of self-suffiency in where we get a good portion of our food, they generally have one of two responses. They laugh and chalk it up to my eccentricity or they look at me like I'm a crazy man! I was inspired to do this for a handful of reasons:

1) I believe that the way Americans get most of their food is short-sighted, harmful to the environment, harmful to the people who eat it, and results in food that is, quite frankly, not that tasty.

2) If there were to be a huge shock to our supply system and gasoline went up to something over $5 a gallon, I would like to know that the cost of my produce was not going to go through the roof.  As oil gets more expensive in the future, normal people will no longer be able to afford fruit and vegetables shipped from halfway around the world.  Also, I don't think it's environmentally sound to use who knows how many gallons of oil/gasoline to ship food from far off places.

3) Fresh produce simply TASTES better!  'Nuff said...

4) There's something inherently good about growing your own food and all of the patience and hard work involved.  And, honestly, I think it will draw me closer to the Lord being reliant on him for the harvest.

Pictures will be forthcoming...

20 January 2009

School Begins

Today is the first day of an incredibly busy semester. School starts today. When you add going to school full time and working full time, well, my time is going to be really full. Today is also the start of my last year in college. I have eight classes left to take, including the four I am enrolled in this semester. I'm definitely one of those people who is always looking forward to the next big thing, and although I'm not proud of that most of the time, I get through these really busy times knowing that someday, I'll graduate, and get to have a "normal" life, not worrying about housework and homework. I give major props to my Mom who graduated last May from TCU with her Masters in Nursing, all the time raising eight kids, dealing with a really sick husband, and working full time. I don't know how she does it, and honestly, I'm not sure if I do. 

I also wanted to mention that my Step Dad is doing really well. Thanks for your prayers. It was a very risky surgery, and he came through with flying colors. Praise God!

18 January 2009

January so far at the Johnson's

Life has been crazy busy since we got back from DC. I started my new job as the Administrative Assistant to the Junior High and College ministers at my church. Jim got ALL of his seeds in, and there are a LOT, and is busy making plans on planting. They, unfortunately, have to start out in my house in these trays on a card table. I'm not really excited about it, but the rest of my house is a mess so why not add some dirt trays. 

Tuesday, I start school, so I'm anxious to see how my schedule is going to be. 

Today, I played my first indoor soccer game and quickly realized how out of shape I am. We won, so that's good, but my step-sister roller her ankle so that is not good. Hope she gets better!

Tomorrow (and I realize I have laid these things out in the complete wrong order) my step dad is having major hip replacement surgery. There is a good chance he may not make it through....keep him in your prayers.

13 January 2009

Washington DC: Day 3,4,5

When Jim got off from all of his meetings, we went on a search for something to eat. Actually, we first walked over to the White House to see it (we were only two blocks away) and it was really fun to see it at night, but then, not good for pictures. We had gotten recommendations from people who actually lived in DC on good places to eat, but it was bitter cold, and we wanted something close. We settled on an Italian country Kitchen called Finemundo's (and I have no idea if I am spelling that correctly). It was really good and really expensive! Thanks to my Mom for helping us out and paying for that dinner.

After eating, we walked to Border's Bookstore near our hotel and Jim got him a new book. I had already been there earlier that day and purchased my book. Then we went back to the hotel, watched NFL playoff games, and went to bed.

Saturday, we slept in and then walked on the National Mall. We saw the Lincoln memorial, the Korean war memorial, the WWII memorial, the Washington Memorial, and then headed to some of the Smithsonian Museums. We went to the American History and Air and Space museums. Jim was really excited about seeing them, and I wasn't as excited as he was because I didn't feel good and it was cold. We did see an IMAX movie which was neat, and then headed back to the hotel to warm up. On the way home, it started raining. What an ending. For dinner, we decided to pick something up and bring it back to the hotel, and ate delicious sandwiches from Potbelly Sandwiches. We watched some more football, then went to bed. 

Sunday, we slept in again, and packed everything up. While we were packing, we saw a parade on Pennsylvania avenue; we had no idea what was going on, especially since it was a Sunday morning, but it was fun to see from our hotel window. We left about 11 to go eat lunch at the Corner Bakery and then made our way to the airport. We met a photographer on the Subway who had been at the parade. Turns out that it was the practice inaugural parade. She was taking pictures, because it was definitely going to be easier when there weren't millions of people there watching. We made it to the airport, and our plan was delayed about an hour and got home safely!

For me, it was a very relaxing vacation. I hope we can go back in the spring time when all the cherry blossoms are blooming.

09 January 2009

Welcoming Myself

The Life on Dayton blog just received another contributor...ME! Sarah is gracious enough to let me join her in posting here. To be honest, I was inspired by our friend Chelsea's statement that she was using her blog as a sort of online journal for her family. So, here I am!

Washington DC: Day 1,2 and 3

We left Wednesday at 330 to go to Dallas for the night. Grace and Maddie Johnson are house and dog sitting with the help of Sherrie, Jim's Mom, during the day since the girls are in school. As soon as we got to the metroplex, we headed to Addison to see my friend Emily, and her husband Joe, and their new lab puppy Kai. The puppy was SO cute, and it was so fun to see them. Their apartment was also very nice and I wished we could have stayed longer; but they had to go to church, and we were starving. We met with Jim's friend Jason and his wife Candis for dinner at one of my favorite places, Macaroni Grill. It was super fun to chat with them and just hear about their life. Then we headed to the hotel to go to bed early, because yesterday was going to be a long day.

Our wake up call came on Thursday at 345 am. We left for the airport at 415, and got there before workers were. We had to wait for people to show up to check us in and send us through security. We got all checked in by 5 and our plane didn't take off until 635 am. I got some breakfast, and watched the time go slowly by. We finally boarded a little early, and landed safely in DC around 10 local time (we gained an hour traveling). We found our luggage, and headed for the metro. It was the first time I had ever ridden on a Subway and it was way fun. After trekking around, finding our hotel, and checking in, we found a Corner Bakery in the same building as our hotel, grabbed some lunch, and then I laid in bed the rest of the afternoon while Jim worked.

I was supposed to be downstairs in the lobby to meet John (Roberta's husband- a co-worker of Jim's) so that we could take a cab to the capitol. All of Congressman Thornberry's staff was having dinner. We ate at this place called the Old Warehouse in Alexandria, VA, and it was delicious. We came home to watch the disappointing BCS championship game.

This morning, Jim had to be at the capitol by 9. I laid around, got up about 930 to get some breakfast at McDonald's and walk around the neighborhood we are staying in. There wasn't really much to do, so I went to Border's and got a new book called Still Alice.

I came back, and, you guessed it, laid around. Showered, read, got on the computer, and watched TV. Now I'm just waiting for Jim to get off of work (around 5).

The picture is the views from our hotel.

03 January 2009

Welcome 2009!

Here are my New Year's Resolutions:
1) Learn to sew
2) Graduate from College
3) Lose at least two pounds a month
4) Memorize 24 Scriptures
5) Pay off my Credit Card

I ended 2008 in a bad mood. I learned how to play 42, sort of, but lost the game, and was incredibly tired at the stroke of midnight. I couldn't wait to get home and get in bed. I woke up feeling better, of course, and spent most of the first day of 2009 cleaning and organizing.

Lately, I have conveyed the message that I am unhappy with my house. I make complaints about it not being big enough, nice enough, or clean enough. And while all those things may be true, the fact of the matter is that it is still my home. My house has GREAT bones- it is so charming, and everyone who comes in agrees. I just see what it can be or what I want it to be, and want to get it there.