31 July 2009
We left Friday. My Mom had left with my 5 youngest brothers and sister in the van at 3:30 and Jim and I drove in my Mom's new car (Nissan Altima- it's so hot! I love driving it!) with my sister and her boyfriend, Gary. On a GPS system, the time for the trip, no stops, and with traffic was 6 and a half hours. (Lumberton is just north of Beaumont). We left at 5, stopped twice, and did in fact arrive before 11:30. The funny thing was that about an hour away from Lumberton, we caught up with my Mom who had to stop a few more times than we did. But, that's what happens when you travel with small children.
We stayed with my aunt and uncle! Saturday, we laid around after a good breakfast (cinnamon rolls and bacon) while my aunt (who is a photographer) took my sister to take some of her Senior Pictures. (Here is a video of her work!) Then we went to the Beaumont Country Club to swim our life away! Dinner that night was fabulous! Shrimp Bruchette (Sp?) Catfish, beans, and much more! It was sooo good! (Granted- I did get sick because of all the "fried"ness, but it was soo good!)
Sunday, we had biscuits and gravy, and then packed up to head to the beach! So much fun, again! So relaxing and a great time! We were all exhausted and sandy when we got home. We cooked out hamburgers and then hit the hay.
Monday, we were sad to leave, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Jim and I drove the mini van home (and with an added body- my oldest cousin came with us because he is going on the Mission Trip next week with our Junior High group at our church) and I thought Jim was going to go craazy! It was a good lesson in family planning!
27 July 2009
23 July 2009
22 July 2009
20 July 2009
18 July 2009
17 July 2009
Here is the question on which I had to submit a writing assignment this week. "In March 2007, the AP initiated a self-imposed week-long ban on reporting anything about Paris Hilton (CNN.com, 2007). Was that a reasonable thing to do? A month earlier, Newsweek's cover story was "Girls Gone Wild: What are celebs teaching our kids?" Find the story and discuss it. Why are Paris Hilton and Britney Spears celebrities and should they be? The following is my response:
First of all, I think that a weeklong ban on reporting anything Paris Hilton was a joke. Maybe, if it had been a little longer of a ban and on all things celebrity gossip, we could have actually seen a difference, but a week, on Paris Hilton only? Please. You were just scratching the surface of an enormous glacier. And I say glacier because I’m not sure we really even realize the enormity of what we have gotten ourselves into with tabloids and the business of celebrity watchdogs, reporting on their every move and mistake. The article by Deveny and Kelley was fascinating, well balanced, and well written, in my opinion. There are a few things that stick out to me.
“Like never before, our kids are being bombarded by images of oversexed, underdressed celebrities who …” (3rd paragraph). This is a completely true and defining statement of the world we live in today. You can’t check out at the grocery store without seeing at least 12 different pictures of celebrities and couples who are cheating on one another, supposedly, getting Botox here and implants there, getting pregnant, or dying of some drug problem that rehab just doesn’t seem to be helping with. It’s not surprising to me that the San Diego teacher hears her seven year-old students using words like “sexy” and flirting, a generation of “prostitots?” One thing is true for me: I’m almost terrified to have kids, knowing what I’m up against, and raise them in what my husband and I deem the right way. It’s going to be a hard job, but I think I am up for it. I’m one of the (future) parents wondering about the effect our “racy culture may have on their kids and the women they would like their girls to become.” But, just as I have posted in my response to the study questions for this week, I think the major solution must come from parents. Values should be taught in the home. I feel very strongly for the solution that calls for greater sensitivity of parents to the influence of the media on young people. I personally believe that it should not be left to the schools or churches to educate our children about sexuality, violence, etc. Schools and churches have so much red tape that they have to try to maneuver to even teach their subjects, it is putting ridiculous expectations on them to try and be the parent, too.
I’m up for the task of raising children in the world we live in because I know it can be done well, especially with young girls, which the article focused on. (Boys are another issue- I feel they should be raised in a way that teaches them to respect women and not look at them as objects to be used.) The article stated that “it is a great time to be a girl,” because there are other things that girls can find to define themselves through besides sex and physical attractiveness. The struggle will be to do the right thing from the beginning and just as the article stated “know thy enemy.”
This class, and text book, will be helpful in knowing exactly what the biggest influences are on children and will also be a reason for accountability on my actions, as it has been said that children do watch what their parents do, even though they would never admit it. Despite all of the statistics on how awful our media, I believe parents can be the counterbalance to the negative impact our media has. The producers produce it because the people buy it, and parents can begin by learning to say “No” to purchasing the Bratz dolls or trashy magazines to have laying around the house and be the change they want to see.
Paris Hilton and Britney Spears are celebrities because they are famous and well known, good, bad, or ugly. And because people wanted to know more, the media had to get more to tell them. Do I think they should be celebrities? No, but I only have control of who I make a celebrity in my life, and they aren’t it. All I can do is teach my children the values that I think are important, and educate them about what’s going on in the world. And each day I pray that I have the wisdom to do that.
14 July 2009
I am playing singles in the Wichita Falls City Championship tennis tournament this week and played my first match last night. I WON (6-2, 6-0)!!!
This is remarkable because it is my first victory in singles tournament play (bringing the record to 1-4) and I played fairly well. My next match is Wednesday @ 6pm.
In other news, the midnight Harry Potter showings are all sold-out so I will not be seeing that movie tonight. Sad day...
13 July 2009
Behold the picture of evil in the garden. He sure doesn't look all that vicious does he? But this, my friends, is a Tomato Hornworm (I'm pretty sure) and he will devour a tomato plant (the leaves of that plant to be specific) in the course of an evening if allowed to ravage unmolested. To be honest, they are beautiful to look at. But I watched this one go to town on a couple of tomato leaves and was astounded to see how quickly it ate the entire leaf. I found TWO on this cherry tomato plant. Fortunately, I did not have to kill these guys because it was time for me to uproot and compost the plant anyway (the heat has gotten to my tomatoes and they will not set fruit anymore nor will the fruit that's already there ripen). Just thought I'd share with you...
Oh, I'd also like to point out the "Jim's Shared Posts" section to the left. The one from today "The Part They Don't Tell You" is a fantastic statement about true community and its blessings and heartaches. I strongly suggest you read it.
Well, we did it. Sarah and I decided last Monday (July 6th) to go an entire week using only one car. Why would we do such a thing? The reasons are varied but all focus around us attempting to determine if we could live as a one-car family. We would do this to:
- Sell my car to help pay off Sarah's car.
- Save money every month on petrol.
- Save money on car insurance.
- Attempt to reduce our effect on the environment.
- Slow down (less busy = better life IMHO).
- Spend more time together (this was an added benefit that I hadn't even considered until we did it. My workdays start better and end better when I get to be with Sarah for 10 minutes at the open and close of business)
How did it go? In a word, AWESOME! There were a couple of times when not being able to take our separate cars created a bit of extra stress as we tried to rush out the door to get to work on time. However, on the whole, it really wasn't that hard and I LOVED the things it did to my quality of life. For example, not having a car meant that I could not drive somewhere for lunch. What did I do, instead? I ate leftovers at the office and walked over to a cafe to enjoy reading Harry Potter. It was relaxing and helped me come back to work energized for the second part of the day. I found that my whole week was more slow-paced which, as you all know, I LOVE! Sarah and I did have to do a better job of planning (packing lunches, errands run, leaving for work earlier, etc.) but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Additionally, we are hoping to save the money because we want to get to a place financially where we can live off of just one income so that we are ready when we start growing our family. Granted, we know that the Lord will provide whenever (if-ever) He chooses to give us children, but it's not a bad idea to try to be as ready as possible when that arrives.
Also, as Chelsea can attest, carpooling with your spouse is fun and a whole lot better than the alternative. I enjoyed the time in the car with Sarah.
So, there you go...the Johnsons...well on our way to being a one-car family!
12 July 2009
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).
Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as New Year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.
1. Finish paying of the Toyota Corolla
August 4, 2009- Now that Jim’s school loans are paid off, we are able to now start putting extra money toward to the principle of my car to pay it off sooner!
September 12, 2009- Corolla is paid off because we traded her in for a new car! I guess it's kind of a copout, but the item is to pay off Corolla, so it's done!!
2. Save $10 for each completed item
3. Donate $10 to charity for every item not completed
4. Pledge to KERA at least a one time gift
5. Begin paying off student loans
6. Buy 10 scratch off tickets
7. Buy something off overstock.com
8. Weigh between 140-145 (my normal weight range)
9. Workout 3 times a week for 6 consecutive weeks
10. No carbonated drinks for 7 consecutive days
11. Run 3 miles without stopping
12. Get up at 6 am 2 consecutive workweeks
13. Walk my dogs twice a week for 6 consecutive months
14. Resist eating out for 2 consecutive weeks
15. Hike Wichita Mts.
16. Bike to work 30 times
17. Take my lunch to work for a week, 10 different times
18. Take a picture of everything I eat for a week, 3 times
19. Give the dogs frontline and interceptor on time every month (2/34)
20. Learn to sew
21. Sew a item of clothing and wear it in public
22. Apply to a show on HGTV
23. Play a round of 18-hole golf
24. Compete in a city tennis tournament
25. Assemble a Family Tree
26. Read 25 books off the Time Top 100 List
27. Watch 25 movies off the AFI 100 movies in 100 years list
28. Enroll and take tap dancing classes
29. Attend a professional soccer game
30. Go to a ballet
31. Go to a concert
32. Make a scrapbook of 101 things that I’m thankful for
33. See Josh Hamilton hit a homerun at Rangers Ballpark
34. Catch a foul ball at a major league baseball game
35. Go camping
36. Fill a scrapbook
37. Complete a puzzle of 500 pieces or more
38. Reread the entire Chronicles of Narnia series
39. Read the first Harry Potter book
40. Bake and decorate a layered cake
41. Cross stitch an entire project
42. Learn to use photoshop
43. Watch an entire set of movies in a row
44. Make a pie from scratch
45. Finish school
46. Get A’s in 3 of my remaining 6 classes UPDATE: As of today, I have changed my degree program from a Degree in Sociology (which would have been pretty worthless without a masters) to a Bachelor Degree in Applied Arts and Sciences (which is probably the easiest bachelor degree I can attain at this point). A positive to this is that I now only have 4 classes left and will (crossing my fingers) graduate in May 2010. Yay!
47. Blog 5 times a week for 4 consecutive weeks
48. Photograph and post each completed item
49. Update my blog once each month on 101 in 1001
50. Do a “Wayback Wednesday” post each week.
51. Send 5 page-letters once a month for 6 consecutive months
52. Host a party
53. Have family portraits taken
54. Visit Grandparents once a month (2/34)
55. Plan a Girls weekend
56. Cook a 3 course meal for family/friends
57. Send flowers to 10 women in my life
58. Have lunch with my Mom 25 times
59. Have lunch with my brothers and sisters 25 times.
60. Have a picnic in a park
61. Completely update my iPhone/Mac Address book with emails, addresses, and phone numbers
62. Read the entire Bible through once
63. Journal every day for 2 consecutive months
64. Unplug for an entire weekend (5 pm Friday – 12 am Sunday)
65. Memorize an entire book of the Bible
66. Pay for the person behind me in line at a drive thru 5 times
67. Donate again to locks of love
68. Take goodies to the office 10 times
69. Send a package to 10 friends that don’t live in Wichita Falls
70. Purchase all birthday cards for a month and send them on time 10 times
71. Babysit 10 times for my Mom for free (1/10)
72. Simplify my home, where everything has a place
73. Switch entirely to natural/green housecleaning products
74. Visit IKEA
75. Regrout my shower
76. Organize my bathroom
77. Decorate my bathroom
78. Organize the sunroom
79. Decorate the sunroom
80. Donate/Sell 25 books I have read and won’t read again
81. Get the Johnson calendar up and look at once a week
82. Buy dishwasher
83. Redecorate the dining room
84. Organize the garage
85. Build something myself for my house
86. Have a garage sale
87. Convert completely to reusable shopping bags
88. Find a system for keeping the paper piles in my home organized
89. Stay at a bed and breakfast with Jimbo
90. Get a passport
91. Take 10 road trips more than hour away (1/10)
- Visited Lumberton, Tx July 24-27, 2009
- SPIM August 15-16, 2009
92. Go to an amusement park
93. Create a recipe book of 100 of my favorite recipes
94. Dress appropriately for work for an entire week 4 times (1/4)
95. Make a new 101 in 1001 list
96. Feel comfortable in a two-piece bathing suit
97. Get a new pair of glasses
98. Actually finish an entire journal (I always leave blank pgs.)
99. Take an art class
100. Wear make up to work two workweeks in a row 4 times
101. Convince Jim to do a 101 in 1001 list.
08 July 2009
07 July 2009
I know, I haven't blogged in a long time and I feel awful about it. Chelsea over at Roots and Rings has my favorite blog on the internet and updates every weekday and makes Sarah and me feel like blogger failures because of her consistency and content of her posts. So, maybe we'll just have to get our competitive juices flowing and start posting consistently again.
As most of you are aware, my lovely bride was MIA for four days back at the end of June. She was in Grapevine helping with our church's Junior High Camp and generally helping do all of the logistical work that goes into an endeavor like that...which is wonderful. Except, when she's making things run smoothly in Grapevine, she is not making things run smoothly on Dayton. So, what did I learn in my four days of forced bachelorhood? Let's break this down bullet-point style:
- In a lot of ways, Sarah is the grease that keeps my life running smoothly. It's easy to lose track of just how much she does on a daily basis that simply makes life work, especially around the house.
- One of my sin tendencies is laziness. Knowing that I have the responsibility as the spiritual head of our family helps spur me on spiritually as well as physically. Without Sarah around, I didn't feel like doing anything. I think I went running once in those four days, I checked on my garden less, I cleaned less, I slept more...etc. My wife kicks my butt into gear just by being around because us husbands like to impress our wives with all of our accomplishments. I don't want her to think she married a lazy good-for-nothing...
- I don't like sleeping by myself anymore. I did not have a good night's sleep the entire time she was away. You get used to being next to someone. You get used to being able to talk to your spouse before you fall asleep. I love sleeping next to my wife and not doing that is detrimental to my sleep and my health.
- I love conversing with my wife. I laughed a total of four times (compared to my daily average of 759 times) while she was gone. Sarah is funny and makes me laugh a lot. She is also my best friend and the person I share everything with...whether that be the latest Rangers story or what the Holy Spirit had shown me in preparation for Community Group. Talking on the phone just isn't the same.
- I am a boring person (just ask our dogs). What did I do for fun those four days? I read two complete Harry Potter books and watched the Texas Rangers. I'll say it again, without my wife, I am a boring person.
- I am not very good at organization. It's quite possible that I ask Sarah where something is in our house five times a day. This is part of what I mean when I say that she is the grease that makes our family run smoothly (and this will only become more true as our family grows over time). Well, needless to say, I couldn't find anything while she was gone (mostly because I put stuff down where it shouldn't go and then didn't have her keen observational skills to fall back on to find it).
- I love my wife and miss her when she's not around.
Before this trip, Sarah and I had only spent two nights apart from each other. I am hopeful that we will not have to spend many more nights apart in the future!