31 July 2009


So, I was trying to wait to get pictures to post before putting up my vacation wrap up post. But, I'll just have to share photos later.

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

Vacation (Sarah)

Friday after work, we headed out to Lumberton, Tx, where my Aunt and Uncle live with my three sweet little cousins. It was such a fun an eventful trip, and as I get back into the real world, I'll tell you more about it.

But, the one thing I hate about vacation, is that evening after you get back, especially if it was a long drive or exhausting trip, and the unpacking/cleaning up that has to happen. UGH! Mix that with summer school, pups that aren't potty trained (or forgot they were) and having driven almost 17 hours over the past four days, and I'm ready for bed.

Too bad my bedsheets are in the washer....

23 July 2009

Best. AFP. Ever. (Jim)

Sarah shared this on Google Reader today and I had to post it simply because it is sublimely awesome! Enjoy...please.

22 July 2009

Before and After....

So, I switched the living room around on my quest for contentment with my house. Here is the before picture...featuring, of course, the roses my wonderful husband bought me.

But, as I said, I wasn't totally happy. So here is what I came up with.

But, I'm not sure I like it. You see, I'm trying to rearrange because I no longer have my "coffee table" because, well, because I'm a dog owner.

Yes, they chewed it apart.
So, now, I'm trying to decide whether I like it or not. So, let me know what you think, but only if you'll be completely honest.

20 July 2009


As an early birthday present, Jimbo got a grill, from his parents. So, the following weekend (last weekend) we tried it out with the Sharp's and Bindel's. I must say, I was incredibly proud of Jim for his grilling and menu that he prepared, especially since it as his first time. Jim made homemade guacamole, black refried beans, and Dr. Pepper Marinated Steak Tostadas. I know, it sounds different but it was SO GOOD! So, I thought I would share it with you:

Dr. Pepper Marinated Steak Tostadas
Meat and Marinade:
1 lb. skirt of flank steak
1 (16 0z.) bottle Dr. Pepper

1 tbsp. vegetable oil
8 (6 in.) corn tortillas
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese

1. Pour Dr. Pepper over steak and refrigerate 4 to 12 hours.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry tortillas 8-10 seconds on each side. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt; drain on paper towel lined plate.
3. Prepare grill. Remove steak from marinade. Combine 1 tsp. salt, brown sugar and pepper. Rub on meat (we actually added a little extra of each of these to make sure it was good and covered). Grill meat 3-4 minutes on each side. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
4. To assemble tostadas, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place tortillas on baking sheets and sprinkle with cheeses. Slice steak into thin strips. Distribute among tortillas, and bake 5 to 6 minutes, until cheese melts.

They were oh so good! Let us know what you think!

18 July 2009

My Friday In Six Words

School Assigment Completed; Leaving Work Early

17 July 2009

Sexuality, the Media, and Children

Before I get into the topic named in the title, I would like to point out that Jim and I have now posted over 100 times to our blog. And, if I get my 101 things accomplished, it will not take much longer to get the next 100.

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


Quick update:

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

Evil Garden Critters!

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.

Our One-Car Experiment (Jim)

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:

  1. Sell my car to help pay off Sarah's car.
  2. Save money every month on petrol.
  3. Save money on car insurance.
  4. Attempt to reduce our effect on the environment.
  5. Slow down (less busy = better life IMHO).
  6. 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

Sarah's 101 in 1001 (April 7, 2012)

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
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.

Here is my list of the things I want to do, broken up into categories so as to better keep track of them over the next 1001 days.


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

Honest Scrap

I, and Jim (since January) have been blogging for just over 6 months. This post is #95 (Chelsea, you've got me beaten by a lot! I promise to take on your challenge of posting everday!). However, this is my first ever "Blog Recognition Award" (and I don't really know that it is an award). It is the Honest Scrap Award. I was nominated by Chelsea and all I can say is thanks for having faith in me even when I suck at blogging! You're awesome! Here it goes- 10 things you might not know about me:

1. I was a competitive dancer for most of my younger life. I was in dance shoes by the age of three and quit when I was 17. I did tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, but I preferred tap and jazz. I quit dancing to focus on soccer, because I didn't think I had the body for dancing AND I enjoyed knocking people over in soccer MORE than I enjoyed dressing up. It was still really fun, and I don't regret it at all. I've even looked at getting back into some adult tap classes. We'll see.

2. I am totally OCD (to the point of annoyance) about having my house clean. I don't like being that way, and I'm trying to simplify/ minimalize our home so that I don't have so much to be focused on (less stuff = less dirty stuff). This OCD'ness leads to an incredible discontent with my house at times, which is embarrassing to admit, but hey- I'm laying out all my honest crap.

3. I had knee surgery in 2002 to repair a torn ACL in my knee, which ended my career (if I ever really had one) in soccer and those 8 months of being out of soccer was a time that I know now that the Lord was using to take my mind off of things that were secondary to Him and refocus the center of my life on Him. (That was a really long sentence). 

4. I am a people pleaser, and this isn't something that is always to my benefit. I many times care more about pleasing people than I do my own health or God. To know that I have let you down in some way is the greatest form of punishment. My parents always instilled in me that they expected 110% and thinking about letting them down is what drove me sometimes- not so much that I loved what I was doing. I think that has carried into other areas of my life, sometimes in unhealthy ways (like being OCD about my house).

5. I have an incredible fear of being sick. Most of you do know that I have been diagnosed with IBS, and after not making it to the bathroom ONE TIME, I know incredibly limit myself on what I can do. Anything out of the ordinary, stressful, or new that I may want to do will many times not get done because of my fear of getting sick and embarrassing myself again.

6. I love fast food for it's convenience. (Maybe this links back to not making a mess in my house/car?) I know that it is incredibly unhealthy and I've seen "Super Size Me" and it still doesn't fade me. I'm a sicko.

7. I am forgiver, but not a forgetter. If you hurt me once, chances are you won't have another chance to do it again. I tend to be incredibly critical and judgmental of people. I'm always watching to see what you do or say to either use as a weapon against you or to justify something in myself. Isn't that awful?

8. I almost completely cut my pinky off one time while carving a pumpkin at Halloween. Lesson learned: always wash and dry your hands after cleaning all of the gooey stuff out of the middle. Don't immediately grab a 7-inch serrated knife and stab it into the pumpkin. Your hand will slip off the handle and rip you finger off as it slides down the blade. 

9. I also had to get stitches another time because I was laying on my back with my legs in the air (making a right angle with my body) and holding a Dr. Pepper can in my feet. The can dropped and hit me right on the bridge of my nose, slicing it open.

10. I don't drink enough water. 60% of what I drink is Dr. Pepper. The other 30% is sweet tea. 10% is water.

Now I’m supposed to nominate 10 bloggers. I’m not going to because I don't read that many. 

Kimberly Ginnings is one of my dear friends from high school who is one of the coolest, most fun, people I know. She is a great friend to go get coffee or tea with, eat a good meal with, or just hang out with and talk things through. 

Emily Fulcher is another dear friend of mine from high school who is a good friend for me because she is married and young! We just connect on a special level that is different from the bond I share with other friends.

Tammy Trembley is a co-worker of mine who is one of the most hard working people I know. She has an awesome sense of humor and does a great job at running Upward @ our church! 

07 July 2009

Where is my checkbook?! (Jim)

The alternate title to this post is: "Or Jim's Adventures in Being a Bachelor."

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!