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


  1. "That's MY Barney!"

    Oh, Marilee, thank you for sharing this! Dwight DID wonder if he was going up for sale on Craig's List! :)

    Naomi told us what an inspiration Dwight was to her, the way he kept the home fires burning, so to speak, with the care and cleaning up after the younger, sick boys, meal prep, being on night duty, etc. It is fun to see it documented with photos. :)

    Thank you for protecting and caring for our little Vienna--and for slipping out of the room to medicate and add your touch to the doings of the day! Dwight said he would much rather be doing what he is doing than being quarantined in the bedroom.

    May our Father continue to heal the boys and give you all grace, peace, and joy in Him during this trying time.

    I love you,


  2. I loved reading this Marilee! So fun to see pictures as well! Your family is so encouraging and reading this inspires me to be an awesome mother like you someday :) Also Dwight gets Father of the Year award! haha sounds like a lot of work. Thanks for this post! xoxo

  3. What a great post Marilee! We are so blessed with husbands who are willing to help and more than help but be 100% giving of there time and spend so much time with the kids and helping in every way possible. I often wonder how I can do it with the 2 kids I have. Then I am reminded of all you ladies out there who have many children and your still sane and happy!!! We have been praying for the boys and that your precious girl wouldn't get sick. Praise The Lord for his kindness :)
    Love you Marilee