Thursday, October 22, 2015

Can you guess these movie titles?

Can you guess these movies?  Titles courtesy of our 2 1/2 year old daughter. :-)

"The Maria movie"
"The Jessica movie"
"The talking rooster movie"
"The ABC movie"

Little people are so much fun.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Our Little Traveling House

A trailer that sleeps 10!!!  Wahoo!

This is the coolest trailer ever!  We’re so enamored with our new trailer-mo-bile that we are even contemplating naming it. J Any suggestions?

A typical evening for us starts with setting up our trailer in a campsite.  Dwight and the boys work on backing it up.  Dwight’s AMAZING at backing up huge trailers – from his craft show days with Aaron.  “Thanks, Aaron!”  

Next, they work together on leveling it, putting down the trailer jacks, and unhooking the car.  Then, they get the power hooked up and the slide out.  Next, hook up the water.

The reverse happens when we pack up and Dwight marveled that, the other morning, the boys were able to do it all on their own already!  WOW – fast learners. J

Dwight laughingly says that he can't believe that everything works on our trailer.  He’s used to the idea of having certain things not working.  But, everything’s worked so far.  Well, almost everything.  We did have to fix the water pump that froze – but it works now.  And, we haven’t quite figured out the hot water heater yet (update: it works!).  But, the power works fabulously (inside and outside lights), the propane, the stovetop, the oven, the fridge and freezer, the pipes don’t leak, the slide-out works...even the awning.  We haven’t tried the tub yet or air conditioner.  When it rains, the roof doesn’t leak…. Like amazing. J Thank you, Lord.

Inside our Little Traveling House -
The SlideOut: This single feature MAKES our house.  14’ long and it extends out quite a ways (perhaps 4’) as well.  We are always blown away by how roomy this place feels.  We even have enough room for a 6’ table inside during mealtimes. Score!  Royal sits at the head of the table in his sassy seat.

Sleeping: So, everyone has a bed.   This is such a HUGE plus when traveling.  There’s a queen up front, 4 bunks in the back, a fold out couch, and a fold-down table/eating area.  We’ve opted to leave the table down and use the bed for sleeping during the night, and a storage spot during the day (for those misc items).  Vienna gets the couch and we leave it folded up, too.  And, there’s even plenty of room for the pak-n-play.

The BunkHouse: 4 of the boys get to room in the bunkhouse.  Each young chap has a tub for their clothes and other belongings at the end of their bed.  In the middle is a huge cabinet that I’m using for a pantry.  Above the cabinet is a tub full of extra bedding.  And, below the bottom 2 bunks is all our extra food storage and paper goods.

The Kitchen:  Loving it!  It’s small, but conveniently has everything we need.  The trick so far has been to take everything off the shelves and put it in the sink, for traveling.  Then, I just pull it back onto the counters and we have our working and cleaning spaces.  The boys have been helping with meals and washing and drying dishes.  There’s no counter space available for just leaving things around, so it’s teamwork to keep things tidy.  This is excellent training for us all to work together.

Blast from the past:
We were driving down the road and I remembered a story from our past.  Years ago, when there were Dwight and I and the three youngest, we went and lived in Aiden, CA with Warren and Sherri and their kids for a few weeks.  Well, being the spry young folks that we were J, we opted to take our small goat herd along with us, so we’d have fresh milk each day.  No big deal! :-) We also took our travel trailer (Dwight had bought one before we were married).  This meant that we had 2 rigs: Dwight’s truck pulling the goats in a horse trailer. And, myself driving our Excursion towing the travel trailer.
I was following Dwight.  I looked down at my taco and took a bite and when I looked back up, I see him practically dead stopped ahead of me and pulling around to the left of this rig in front of him, who had slammed on their brakes.  They were turning right, but had stopped enough to flip him off on their left.  There was no time to STOP, so I just swerved around to the right of him off the shoulder!  Dwight swerved left, and I hauled around him on the right (at like 55mph) – off the shoulder, bouncing across the cross street and back onto the highway in front of Dwight.  We bounced and jerked so much so that the steps to the trailer came out.  I don’t even want to know what would have happened if the guy would have actually been turning right at that moment.

Next post: On to Washington …

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Spring 2015 Trailer Trip Adventure

What’s the plan, man??

I haven’t been being secretive … it’s just that we sort of haven’t had one - a plan, that is.J

Oh, yes.  That’s how we roll.  Combine an ultra-planner Mama (who has to bring along everything but the kitchen sink) with an ultra-spontaneous Daddy (who would rather have an open agenda than a planned event any day), and what do you get?  Some ideas of what to do, but leaving LOTS of room for flexibility and change throughout.  Note: don’t ask him the night before what we’re doing the next day. J 

OK-Back to the trip:
What are those crazy Johnson's planning on doing now?

It all started out for us with this continual desire of wanting to be able to travel as a family.  Not just take a trip now and then, but really be able to leave and explore this great world we live in! We’d love to visit our family in CO and So Cal again.  It’s part of our homeschooling plan, too. J   We’d love to take a cross-country trip and see things from Yellowstone, Mt Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, Durango, our nation’s capitol… How ‘bout visiting Tennessee, Texas, Niagara Falls, my hometown in upstate NY, our awesome wholesalers across the country (HI, Nicole, Tami, Dee Ann!) in Maryland, Kansas, Arkansas!  We’d LOVE to make this a reality … not just a dream.

Inside our soap house
We’ve been “grounded” for a while building our Bend Soap business (woot woot!).  But after 3 years, our business is off and thriving and growing by leaps and bounds, Praise the Lord!  A BIG THANK YOU to all our wonderful customers, fans … and addicts. J

Being tied to the farm year-round while milking our goats has also made traveling difficult.  Goats have to be milked, you know – twice a day for 8 months, and once a day for another 2 months.  We LOVE our fresh goat milk, but we’ve found that there are not a prolific amount of willing goat-milkers in the area (go figure). J  Despite this, we HAVE been able to get away on a few small trips thanks to the wonderful folks who have been kind enough to milk for us while we’re away.  But, a longer excursion is definitely the goal.

Like our wild Hawaii trip from 2011!!!  Ahhhhh….. such fond memories from that still linger in our hearts and memory.  We would do that trip again in a heartbeat …. But it’s way too expensive!  Not telling you how much we went through on that one. J Oopsie (as Vienna says).

Mexico might be in our future … Queremos hablar espanol!

Or an adventure into the hills … where no running water or electricity exist (yikes!) … to build a cabin or something out of the wood that we chop down and mill ourselves.

Or, how ‘bout those courageous cousins of ours and their catamaran!  Someday???!!  Anchors away …J

Warmer weather is what we’re lookin’ for at present – and a sort of “dry run” on how things are done with this size family.  We’re not pros at traveling yet.  … so it's baby-steps as we go.  We are hoping, at some point, to park our trailer near/on a beach and hang out for a while as a family.  We’ve got our school books and rollerblades, and adventure passes.  And I’ve packed just about everything I can think of – AND we have a kitchen sink, too!

And, we’re loaded up with 3000+ travel size bars to hand out to interested folks – who think we’re nuts, but like us anyway!  We’ll call it our Share The Suds Tour. J

Spring is coming and we’ll be back to milking and goat kidding and farm tours soon.  So, for the next few weeks/months (stay flexible, remember?), we’re hanging out in So Cal.

Our journey has begun.

We’ll keep you posted on our adventures!

Next post: Inside our trailer … YES, you can have a tour of our “little traveling house” as Wyatt calls it.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Celebrating 11 years of marriage to Mr. Dwight.

Celebrating 11 years of marriage today!

For you, my love ... These have been the best years of my life!  You're my most favoritest person.  The one I'd pick to be on my island. The one who still "melts my butter!"

I'm so glad you asked me to share the sunsets with you for the rest of our lives. :-) 

Here's to my wonderful groom, dance partner, cherisher of my heart, best friend ... 

My handyman,

 playful, adventuresome 


out-of-the-box and fun, 


haying and farming. providing and nourishing,  

sweet and adoring, 




fit, strong, and buff,  

playful and hilarious,  

servant-hearted and giving,   




 Daddy to our 7 (almost 8)

 brokeness and sadness sharing,




BEST HUBBY ever!!!  

I adore you and our wonderful life.  

Thank you for making all the sacrifices you do every day - for changing all the diapers with me, cleaning up the messes, changing out the toilets, making all the breakfasts, and then doing it all again the next day. 

Thank you for sharing your heart and dreams -- for dreaming big and letting us work together to build fun businesses and our big family.

Thank you for guiding and protecting us each day -- for learning from the Lord and making HIS heart YOUR heart.  For teaching and leading us and giving us a vision.  

And for making these 11 years, the BEST years of my life.  I adore you, my sweet man!

Drive safely home to us ...

Monday, July 7, 2014

Blueberry picking in Oregon

Blueberry Picking in Oregon

It was spur of the moment ... like most of our plans tend to be.  My parents were going to our favorite place in Lieburg (near Vida), so Dwight decided we should go, too. 

The plan was to leave after breakfast (that we liesurely spent with company).  Just as we were all packed up, lunch in ice chest, pulling out of the driveway, we found out that the place that we've gone to for years was not going to be open after all, being that it was a Sunday.

Quick change of plans, a search on the internet, a phone call to confirm ... and we were off to a NEW place.  This time, we drove west towards Albany, but stopped in the small town of Lebanon.  We meandered on back roads, around farms, over creeks and made it to Springbank Farm.

This is a beautiful 320 acre place growing 12 acres of blueberries ... and other things, as well.  The family there was very nice and welcoming and we found ourselves feeling like family as we soon got very well acquainted.

We all donned our awesome harnesses, grabbed our buckets (little ones for the little troops) and headed out into the field.

I got a kick out of these two - who thought they were so cool.

The bushes that greeted us were VERY small (the same size as Vienna!).  Even so, I was surprised to see lots of berries on the few little branches these newby bushes were growing.
Let the eating begin!

Still, our spirits were complaining and thinking that we would have a very hard time trying to fill a single bucket, let alone the 100lbs we were hoping for.

But, pressing on, we soon found row after row of more mature trees that were LADEN with plump blueberry clumps.  We ate until our bellies hurt, filled bucket after bucket, and had such a blast.

Dwight soon found "the jackpot" and the picking really became fun.  Imagine being able to fill an entire bucket in about 15 minutes!  Well, that's about what started to happen as the clumps of berries were "tickled" off the bushes and into the buckets.

Hauling in the berries became the next important chore.  By the time Chance and I had brought 3 buckets to the front, and returned ... the picking crew had filled another 3.  What a system!  

Look at these MUSCLES!  

Dwight and I were blown away by their diligence and determination to keep picking 'til the end.  Part of the reason they were so motivated, was because it was so rewarding and FUN!  The berries were just prolific ... and each bush seemed to want to give more and more.  We couldn't stop!

The ORIN-man 

Burnell the buff - he's got 2 buckets hooked on 

Dwight - the leader 

Ty-man kept going strong to the VERY end!

YUMM!!  Lining up the buckets for weigh-in.  Each bucket is approximately 12lbs.
We picked 19 1/2 buckets -- totalling over 220lbs!  That should last us a while. :-) 

Filling tubs and doing a quick sort.  Nice look, OE.

As is tradition for the blueberry picking experience ... after you've picked all day in the hot sun, one MUST dunk in a river.  We found a beachy spot off the Santiam River nearby and everyone cooled down in the fresh water.  Ahhhhh.... it doesn't get better than this, folks!