Ice Castles

After many years of saying, “Oh, we should check out the ice castles…” this year we finally did it! It was a long drive, but a cool place!

All bundled up.

Ummm… this looks a little dangerous! :)

The sky looked purple against the blue ice. It was crazy.

We stayed for about 40 minutes, half of which was spent with Eve in tears because her sneaker-clad feet were too cold. We spent a ton of $$ on cheap hot chocolate and adequate cinnamon buns from the “farm to castle” concessions stand. By “farm” I think they meant Cumberland Farms, because I’m sure there was no actual farm involved! :)

It was a fun day, a beautiful icy structure, a checkmark on the bucket list, and we wound out the trip with a fantastic Italian dinner.

I put all the pictures in a Google album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/OEJgFNC6WA35YUXR2

Letting the grays grow

Soo… I decided I’m tired of coloring my hair and I’m going to let the grays grow out. I’m hoping I won’t look super old and awful when it’s all gray, but also I just don’t feel like paying the $$ and taking the time to keep coloring it. The roots always show before I get back to the salon, so I’m not really fooling anyone anyway. Alan is pretty excited about this. He said, “Finally we’ll be matchy matchy!” The kids thinks it’s cool, and Eve is hoping that when it’s all gray I’ll dye a streak bright purple. They are all kind to me.

I got two good laughs this week from kids who are apparently starting to notice. A fifth grader stopped mid-sentence and said, “You have some silver in your hair!” Then he quickly reassured me that it’s ok because it might just be the way the light is hitting my hair and it’s only on one side and besides his grandmother had gray hair and she died last summer when she was 100 years old. I barely got a word in before he was off again. Today Eve has a friend over and his little sister, who is in Pre-K, said “Oh Mrs. Johnson, you have gray hair!” I said yep! She said “oh” and turned to talk to her sister about something else.

I think I have to come up with a clever response to kid comments. Hmmmm…

Lex and his music [corrected]

I love Lex and his music.  It makes me happy.

He recently found an app called My Singing Monsters where you can create music by placing a variety of different monsters.  It’s weird, but cool.  Check out the song he made. It’s catchy!

And yes, I did record a from one phone to another, and yes, it is a lousy recording. But focus on the music!

I signed him up for drum set lessons too. He starts Monday. I can’t wait!

CORRECTION: I showed this video to Alan last night, bragging about how awesome Lex is and eager to show his work. Alan said, “Cool. That’s Ride, by Twenty One Pilots.” I said no, Lex wrote it, and Alan said, nope! Turns out Alan was right! I asked Lex about it this morning and he said yes, of course, it’s Ride. He said he played it in band awhile ago. I never even heard him listening it here. I feel like a total dope for not realizing. So anyway, I’m still proud of him and I still think it’s a cool video and song, but apparently everyone but me knew it was a “monster” version of Ride, by Twenty One Pilots. Gotta give credit where credit’s due!

A “day off”

Today is Martin Luther Jr. Day and a day off from school.  I have come to the conclusion that all weekends should be three-day weekends.  Saturday to get caught up and run errands, Sunday to relax and enjoy, and Monday to prepare for the upcoming week.  Especially those of us in careers that take a lot of “at home” work before we are actually ready to go to work!

This weekend I have written my lesson plans for the next three weeks, figured out how to use Do Ink (green screen software), set up Google Classrooms for six classes, prepped for tomorrow’s in-service day, came up with plans to teach Dash and Dot to my second graders, Lego WeDos to the third graders, and author studies for kindergarten and first grades.  I did a big grocery shopping, organized the pantry, helped both kids clean their rooms, and managed to eat healthy and stay “on plan” with Weight Watchers.  I EVEN managed to go to a yoga class and have brunch with a friend! I’m on fire!  I don’t even remember what I did on Saturday!  That was all just yesterday and today!

Seriously, all weekends should be three days.  Two days just isn’t long enough in the education world.  :)  Although…. maybe we need a rotating schedule because the kids don’t need three day weekends!

A whole new year!

We rang in 2018 in the usual fashion: game night at home, streaming the ball drop, and crashing afterwards.  Super exciting.  After venturing out last NYE and having fun, but also icy excitement, we decided to stay home this year!  Also, we just like being home.

We ate Cheetos (a NYE tradition, apparently)

And played Apples to Apples (probably a new NYE tradition!!) It’s a very silly game and the kids laughed and laughed!

Awww…..

That’s more like it.

Walking the dog at 10pm in the crazy cold. I tried to take a picture by the light of the full moon… but it didn’t turn out so well. :)

BB-8 joined in the fun.  Technology is crazy these days!!

We finally got the see the ball drop!! They didn’t cut away this time. Yay!! Happy 2018!!

And then Eve reminded us about the Family Fun Jar!  Despite it being past midnight now, we couldn’t NOT open it!

She looks tired!

Remember the solar eclipse?!

It was a good year for the Johnson family.

We started 2018 with a late morning all around.  Lex got up around 9:30, Eve and I both got up around 10:30!!  Poor Alan only made it until 7:30 though. He had work on the brain.  :(  We spent the day reading and listening to audio books and playing Minecraft and moving datdec customers from one serve to another.  Can you guess who did what?! :)  I was going to go into the library for a few hours, but that didn’t happen.  Overall it was a calm and peaceful day.  A perfect way to start the new year.

Oh yea, we played with Snapchat for awhile too. :)

And explored the new AR Filters on my phone’s camera app.

Mostly we just did a lot of this though. <3

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!!!