Friday, March 15, 2013

There's a reason he's so loved ... Dwight our hero

I am often asked "How do you do it???"

Of course, referring to the fact that I have 7 children, ages 6 weeks on up to 8 years old.

OK, I see your point! :-)

Wyatt on the swing today
The first 6 are boys ... and they are all GO.  Whew!  And, they are wonderful boys ... each one so sweet and delightful.  I am ecstatic that they are turning out so well ... especially when things feel so crazy at times.

And then a baby girl on top.  How exciting!  And... the crazy-busy continues.

And, I'm married to an amazing visionary-entrepreneur who, in our almost 10 years of marriage, has built 5 houses, remodeled 3, and started 3 successful businesses.  That keeps us on the go ...

And then there's farm projects, family, extended family, travels, fellowship, etc

How do I do it???

Truth is ... I don't ... entirely, that is.  There is this amazing other part to me -- my other half.  Someone I so often take for granted, being that he feels more like an extension of me, that I hardly mention him.  But, I read this awesome post this morning by Lisa Jacobsen ( and I decided to come out and tell all! :-)

Dwight, you are 1 in a million:  servant, shepherd, friend.

[Now's where I wish I had some of those awesome literary skills like Naomi, Derrick, Wade, Kathryn ... and other Johnson relatives] :-)

As you may not have known, shortly after Vienna was born, we found out that 3 of the boys had whooping cough.  In an effort to keep Vienna from getting the nasty bug, we quarantined her to our room, and kept the sickos out.  This meant that Mama was in there with her most of the day, and Daddy was taking care of everyone else.  Poor little darling had stomach gases since I was taking so much garlic, that it was necessary for me to be in the room with her most of the time.  Occasionally, I'd come out to "doctor" up the kids (give them garlic, Vit C, homemade cough syrup and such), pull meat out to thaw, throw in a load of laundry, wash a dish, ... whatever I could to help.  Then, back in I'd go.

Dwight was handling the rest.  Meals, dishes, grocery shopping, cleaning up messes - it all fell on his shoulders.  Oh, and running the soap business at the same time.

What I love most about you, Dwight is that you do more than just "take care" of us.  
You still lead, create, encourage, shepherd, and pour into us all.

Sometimes he gets short, but he never loses his joy.  In fact, he'll break out in song or be silly instead.  How does he do it??

This morning, I had the 3 oldest (who aren't sick) in the room with me doing school.  Daddy had read from the Bible and taught our little brood of the Lord.  I was now teaching on character.  Kindness instead of Selfishness.  The greatest example we have is the one who gave up his life for us:  Jesus Christ.  He loved us so much that he gave his very life.  Thank you, Lord!

I asked the boys if they know someone who is self-less like that - who thinks of others instead of just himself.  Orin immediately says "Daddy"!  We have a real life example in our own home of someone who is constantly giving of themselves for our benefit as well.  Selfish??  Not at all.  He gets up and makes breakfast (awesome, gourmet breakfast burritos - I might add) and then takes what is left over.  Over and over he hears "Daddy ..." from a needy little fellow and he stops to listen, stops to help, or stops to watch.  Another meal, another bottle, another need.  He's there serving.

I caught him in action.  At 6:00pm I thought ... I need to capture all he does on camera!  So, this is what I saw him doing between 6 and 9:30pm.  And, believe me ... he started before I got up - doing so much more!
Typical Dwight ... whipping out a fun project for the boys -- keeping them learning, keeping them growing.  Made swords tonight.  Whether it's working on a bike track, building a jump, coming up with a new venture (like getting into chickens again), checking out a cool video on the computer, working on their cabin ... whatever it is, Dwight is pouring into these guys.

Then there's the younger set of young men - needing lots of loving, guidance and training.  One of these guys is always being toted around in his arms, in his lap while he works on the computer, following him wherever he goes, on the counter while he's in the kitchen.  It's adorable!

Time to make some money ... or sell the Suzuki!  Yeah!  Good job, baby!

 Now onto dinner. Burgers on the grill are your specialty. Mmmm... now for some Monterey Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions (oh, yes!).  You're amazing!

This is where where he starts to wonder about all my photos of him.  "Am I going on Craigslist?" he asks?  What's with all the photos?
Filling bottles, getting boys to bed ...

Re-filling the humidifier

Cleaning up barf (he's ignoring me now)

Reading "Little House" books EVERY night

 And lastly, visiting with the little princess.

Thank you, Dwight!  For all you are and all you do.  You are an example to me, your children, and others of selflessness, love, joy, and serving.  What a gift to walk through life along-side such a man.
~Your adoring wife, Marilee

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spring is a comin' ...

Our winter started out so snowy and cold, but it's been mild ever since, it seems.  Now, we've had several days where it feels like spring.  Yesterday, it was in the 70's and you could just tell that the seasons were changing.  I'm used to it snowing in March and April (and occasionally May), but knowing that it might be warm in between is refreshing.

We've been cooped up for a while now ... the younger boys have had the whooping cough.  It's on its way out, I believe. When stuck in my room, I've been playing dress-up with my new little dolly. :-)  What fun!

On these warm days of late, we spend most of our time outside, air out the house, and breathe deeply of the goodness of the Lord.

A few fun shots from yesterday:
Dwight and boys have been working on cleaning up the bike track.  This is only half of it.  All the weeds were raked up and burned and the track smoothed.  Now, they take turns riding over the burms and whoopties.  I guess they got tired of taking turns, because now 2 of them go at the same time - 1 each direction.  Burnell is coming up on the burm while Orin is coming the other direction over a jump.  Great exercise and skill training.  They are loving it!

Our little China man.  He found an old piece to a heat lamp and made a hat out of it.  He knew he was cute.

Splitting a bit of wood down at the wood pile. Can't believe this boy is growing up so fast.  So capable.

Mama and Vienna joining the crew at the wood pile.  Soooo good to be outside.  Drinking up the sun.

On our rounds of the property, Dwight showed me what the boys had been working on earlier in the year.  Felling trees!  Yes, and the one they fell, they hacked off all the branches, too.  Good work, men!

 Shirts off ... feeling so good!

Building a table out of junk wood.  Found some nails ... made it happen.  Way to go, guys!

Look what's new on the farm!  Baby chicks.  Seems we have Plymouth Barred Rocks, Lacey Wyndotes, Rhode Island Reds, and Buff Orpingtons.  My favorites are the Buffs.  They are the softest, plumpest, and great setters.

Checking in on the goats, too.  The little ones are growing and eating hay.  Cute!!!!!!  Everyone looks so perky and spunky in the spring sunshine.  Can't wait for the grass to grow and everything to green up.

Stay tuned for more adventures ...