The Johnson Family Bank

Based on the book The First National Bank of Dad (which we have heard about, but have not actually read), Alan and I decided to offer the kids the option to put their money in the “bank” and earn some interest.  It’s something Alan and I have discussed in the past, but just brought it up with the kids today.  Their “save” envelopes were getting pretty full, so I suggested we deposit the money into their 529 College Savings accounts, which then lead to further discussions of banking, which led to this:

I may be breaking some space/time continuum by posting a Snap of a screenshot onto a blog!

The kids both agreed that their “save” money should go towards college, and they both liked the idea of earning interest.  Alan said “When you are ready to start a family bank account, you can create a spreadsheet in Google Docs and share it with me and mom.”  Both kids immediately grabbed their computers!  :)  I guess they were ready!  We’ll see how it goes.  Hopefully it doesn’t break the ACTUAL Johnson family bank account!

Christmas 2017

We had a great Christmas in the new house this year! Calm, crazy, and cozy. <3 The weather made for difficult travel on the 23rd, so Mandy, Mema, Tom, and Rosy all came up on Christmas Eve. It felt like a traditional Christmas Eve with last minute cleaning and eager children waiting for relatives to arrive. :)

Rosy and Dad made a delicious Christmas Eve vegetable soup and we all settled in for Santa and snow for Christmas.

Christmas morning came with eager children, rowdy doggies, and lots and LOTS of snow!  Unfortunately that meant Aunt Katie couldn’t join us for presents Christmas morning.  It certainly made for a beautiful day though.

We enjoyed stockings and breakfast and presents and brunch and naps and cookies and all the love and family and fun.  Some crazy people (and pups) even chose to brave the elements and go out side, briefly.

I was not one of those people!

I chose to stay in the cozy warm house with hot tea and new games.

For Christmas dinner was had the most informal lasagna and salad possible.  My friend Eirene came over with her two boys and we had a nice cozy evening.

On Wednesday morning (the 26th), Katie came over for another round of Christmas.  The temperature had dropped significantly, but the sun was shining and the roads were clear-ish.

Wednesday afternoon brought swimming (at Rosy’s hotel), napping, and lots more cookie consumption.  Hmm… actually maybe I’m missing a day.  I think Tuesday was swimming and tater tot casserole for dinner.  Wednesday was… who can remember!  Wednesday evening we used our Christmas tickets from Greg and Kathy and went to the Lebanon Opera House to enjoy an awesome concert/comedy show.

Thanks Greg and Kathy!!!  It was fun and funny and loud!  :)

After the Christmas Day snow storm the temperatures dropped fast and we spent the week feeling very grateful for the cozy house.  The dogs went out to play a few times, but even they didn’t want to be outside for long.

Here’s to a wonderful Christmas and peaceful end to 2017.

Growing up, and the holiday concert that was

Lex had his winter concert tonight. Their concert dress code is black bottoms, white tops, dressy. Last year he wore black sweats and one of Alan’s white Hanes t-shirts, and I thought things were fine. Last night when I was putting him to bed he said to me, “Mom, I think I should get some nicer clothes for the concert tomorrow.” Turns out he felt awkward in his sweats last year and although no one commented, he said he got a few funny looks. Imagine my surprise when he suggested a Polo shirt! After school today he came to DBS to help me set up some robotics kits, then we tried to work out shopping, karate, Girl Scouts, and the concert. I kept waiting for him to bail on the shopping, but nope, he suggested skipping karate so we could go shopping!! We ended up dropping Eve at home (to walk Arlo) and then Lex and I headed to JC Penney. I wish we had better clothing stores around. Penney’s and Khols both have very small kids sections. Plenty of adult clothes and baby/toddler clothes, but my kids are now at that age where they can’t quite wear grownup clothes, but have outgrown the kids section. It’s tricky. He tried on almost a dozen different pants and four shirts before settling on a pair of black jeans and a white collar shirt. He was happy for the entire time! He was a little worried that the jeans were a bit big around the waist, so I suggested a belt. Guess what?! He said OK! Ack! Who is this child?!

We inhaled some pizza, got Eve out the door to Girl Scouts (cookie time is right around the corner!), then rushed off to the concert. Lex was a few minutes later, but we agreed that at least he’d look slick walking in. :) He was happy and the concert was awesome!

On the Eve front, she was going to bed last night, climbing up her bunk bed ladder. She stopped, looked seriously at me, and said, “Mom, puberty is doing weird things to my body.” She then raised her foot up behind her and I looked, expecting to see bumps and blisters, but instead I saw a big googly eye! Stuck to the bottom of her toe! I cracked up! She started giggling and crawled into her bed. Not too grown up yet! <3

A sweet success!

Our cookie party was a huge success! We had tons of people and everyone was happy and the kids played and had fun and no tears and plenty of cookies!!!

The holiday concert that wasn’t

Eve had her last holiday concert last night.  We didn’t make it.  She’s had a cold and sniffles for a few days now.  She woke up in the morning saying her neck hurt.  I had a long meeting after school and by the time I got back to her she was cuddled up in the chair, covered in my jacket.  She told me she was too tired and cold and stuffed up.  I rushed her down to the nurse real quick (who was also in the long meeting with me) for a fever check.  It was low-grade but “within the range of normal for an evening temperature.”  The nurse also checked her throat because apparently strep is going around her classroom!  The throat was red, but not too red.

That left me with the eternal parent/teacher dilemma.  I was signed up to run the raffle table and Lex was going to come help me.  What to do, what to do.  I talked to the music teacher who assured me they could find someone else to run the table – though I know that’s the last thing she wanted to be thinking about an hour before the concert starts!  I negotiated with Eve for a bit, but she wanted nothing to do with anything.  I even told her it was lights out at 7:30 if she didn’t go to the concert.  She said ok.  And was in bed at 7:30.  I read her a few Christmas stories so lights weren’t quite out, but close.  :)  She was asleep fast and slept late this morning.  I felt bad about bailing on my teacher commitments, but damn, we are tired around here!

When I broke the news to Lex he was completely indifferent, but then he told me how excited he was for his own concert on Monday and I said, “what?”  Concert Monday?  Crap.  Not on my calendar!  So Monday will be karate -> Girl Scouts -> concert… while hoping someone can pick Eve up from Girl Scouts for me!

Anyway, I did go to the dress rehearsal and took a few videos of Eve’s band performance.  I didn’t stick around for the chorus part, thinking I’d be back again in the evening for the actual show.  Silly me.  This family isn’t very good at the concert thing.


First Lego League – 2017

We had a long, eventful, FUN day at the Lego League competition today!! All three teams did really well, with each excelling in different areas. The coaches did a great job keeping track of kids and getting everyone where they need to be at the right times. No small task!! We were complimented by many for bringing so many teams. There were no awards this year, but the missions worked, the projects were done, and the tears were minimal. (Tears are somewhat unavoidable at high-stress, loud, busy scenes like this when you have kids as young as 4th grade.) Lex’s team really meshed well and he’s already talking about next year. Eve’s team (my team) did not mesh as well and she has been saying all along that she won’t do it again, but today the language changed to “If I do it next year…” We are considering making one of the teams all girls next year. I think that would be fantastic and we already have a lot of girls in the pipeline! We’ll see. For now, here are some pictures, then a wrap-up team party next week, a debrief coaches meeting sometime soon, then we put FLL to bed for the season. Next season’s theme — life in outer space!!

For someone who “didn’t care,” Miss Eve did an awful lot of talking and question answering. I think maybe she learned a little bit, despite her best efforts. :)

All three teams together.

And with the coaches.

I missed the presentations with Red team (since I was busy with Green team), but thankfully the robot missions are all in the same place so I could watch all three teams run their robots!

One of these things is not like the other…

When kids get bored they turn to devices. Hardhats generally not required.

When military folks get bored they turn to push-ups! LOL! The kids had fun joining in the push–up challenges. :)

Final scores for the three teams. Arachdroids Green hit triple digits!

What to do while waiting for the award ceremony to start? How about dancing?! Lots of dancing!

And maybe a conga line. You can’t go wrong with a conga line! :)

One more thing…

One more thing is coming to a close. Tomorrow is the 2017/18 Lego League competition and we are (kinda) ready!! We have three teams, 21 kids, and 10 adults! Not to brag, but I’m largely organizing all of them. :) I take the work upon myself. Eve is not enjoying the season (she’s grumpy these days), but Lex’s team has come together nicely and he’s having a great time. I look forward to seeing all three teams compete tomorrow — and I look forward to it all being over!! :)


I got the Advent boxes up just in time! They just have chocolate in them this year, no toys or games, but I think that will be ok. I couldn’t resist the beautiful Advent calendar in the background. Each window has fun suggestions for holiday activities. The Advent cookbook has a sweet new recipe for each day. Eve has been so excited to bake cookies, so I know she’ll enjoy that. ❤️❤️❤️🎄 Happy December!