Monday, January 28, 2013

Baby Announcement

It's a GIRL!!!

We are delighted to announce the arrival of our sweet baby girl:

Vienna Rose Cheree Johnson

Born January 26, 2013 at 4:04am
Weighing 8lbs 7oz
Measuring 20 1/2 inches long

Vienna means "gracious and blessed"
Rose means "rose, God's gracious gift"
Cheree means "sweetheart, valuable, darling"

Beautiful little treasure.  Her baby photos look so much like her older brothers, but she's all feminine and delicate.  However, she is our heaviest baby!  She beat the biggest boys out by 2 ounces. Ha!  Looks like she's got a competitive nature already. :-)

We are so thankful to the Lord for his marvelous work.  Labor and delivery were quite easy and short.  And, the Lord helped deliver her fully in her sack.  So amazing!

Daddy is in love with his little girl and I am sure she adores him already.  She quiets down her little cries, opens her eyes, and appears to listen intently when she hears his voice.

Meeting her older brothers was so special!  When the boys woke up, Grandma Gail got them all ready and brought them down to our room together.  Burnell has been checking for baby each morning for weeks to see if baby had arrived in the night.  Finally, this time, a little bundle was on the bed.  "Is it a boy or a girl?" is the first question.  Everyone is ecstatic to have a little sister.

Burnell can't stop kissing her and asking to hold her.  He's a champion big brother and adores his little sister!  He's also been a great help in burping her whenever needed.  Orin is constantly near and gentle with her as well.  His special thing is to brush her soft hair and keep her well groomed.  Chance is the photographer.  There are now more pictures of her than all the boys put together!  Whether it be the small point & shoot or Daddy's iphone, he's busy snapping away. :-)  Ty is Mama's helper ... always getting me something I need, or taking something to the kitchen, etc.  He likes to "look" at her.  Quint and Wyatt are just as enamored. They come and check on their baby, touch her soft head, tell her she's beautiful, and ask to hold her.  Wyatt heard her making little grunting noises and just laughed and laughed.  I think they're enjoying their little sister already.
In attendance at birth:  Midwife Sherry Dress, Apprentice Rachel Stelzer, Dwight's Mother Paula Johnson, My mother Gail Padwe, Dwight's sister Naomi Clark, and friend Kara Rasmussen.  Quite the crowd this time.  I so enjoy sharing birth with others.  Dwight and I have been mostly on our own (with midwife) for the last 3, so it was special to share it this time.
Vienna is quite nocturnal at present.  She slept most of the first day and second day and has been up most of the nights with tummy gurgles.  Mama is hoping to get more sleep soon. :-)  Very thankful for Daddy who has the unique ability to get her to burp in the middle of the night.  After Daddy burps her, she finally rests and goes to sleep.  Yeah!

She's quite alert when she's not sleeping.  Her eyes open wide and she looks at all the faces peering at her with interest.  She seems so content and relaxed.  Sweet baby.  Couldn't be more blessed!

We had quite the time naming her. :-)  Not until just now, did we officially decide that Vienna should be her name.  Thank you all for your suggestions and help.  I love hearing all the ideas - however bizarre some of them are. :-)  I have many favorites, so narrowing it down was hard.  But, Dwight couldn't settle on any that I liked, so we went back and forth.  Finally, she is named.  Sorry to keep you all in suspense.

Thankful, thankful, thankful!!  
Much love,
Marilee, for the family

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Winter fun and news!

What a fun season it is … and it’s only just begun!!
We thought winter would be a time to slow down, but November and December just buzzed right along.
Boys shipping packages of goat milk soap - Bend Soap CompanyBend Soap Company celebrated it’s official 1-year anniversary in December!  WOW!  What a year it was!  Starting from scratch, to this fun growing business … so exciting!  We are glad to keep producing wonderful, quality, natural products that you and your SKIN love.  The holiday scents were a HIT — Cinnamon Sugar and Apple Pie being the top sellers.  We also sold out of the festive Sleigh Baskets which we hope to bring back next year.  November and December were full of shipping out Bend Soap Company orders and restocking all our awesome retail stores in Central Oregon.  Bend Soap Company products were given as gifts all over the country this season!  So much fun! :-)
The boys have been helping out with Bend Soap, too. Burnell and Orin are champion milkers, while Chance and Ty have had the job of taking care of the younger goats.  In the office, Burnell loves to help pull orders for Kara.  And Wyatt loves to help restock the shelves.  Everyone else gets to help carry out boxes of orders each day. :-)  We love this fun family business.  We've had fun with pictures this season, too.  Right: Quint "smelling" a bar of soap.  He's so cute!  And, our little curly poster boy, Wyatt is now on our web and brochures.
Aside from that, they have been working on their school work, music (fiddle and piano), spanish lessons (Rosetta Stone rocks!), typing lessons, and other educational activities.  There’s always something to learn.  We have enjoyed this special time together as a family.  Summers often spread us out all over the farm, but in winter ... we're all cooped up together. :-)  Lots of time for games, our favorites including puzzles, cards, Battleship, Rummicub, Treasure Mountain, etc.
I'm in my 9th month, expecting another little Johnson baby in January.  We haven’t checked via ultrasound, so this little one will be a real surprise!  A 7th boy??  Or our very 1st girl??  The anticipation is quite high at the moment.  Quint is the only one who thinks it's a girl.  Everyone else is rooting for a boy.  Can't wait to see...  I've been pretty wiped out with this pregnancy and have found myself on more bedrest than I would have hoped.  Apparently I've overdone it all summer long. :-)  Super glad that Dwight has been around to help out.  He's amazing!!  He gets the troops up, makes breakfast, gets them on task, does dishes, goes shopping, changes diapers, reads stories, etc ... all while still handling business decisions, milking goats, making phone calls, attending his weekly 6am men's bible study.  He does it all ... so well!  The boys LOVE their awesome Daddy, and I couldn't be more blessed to have such a great leader at the helm.  Go Dwight!  Thank you for taking care of us so well.
On beautiful winter mornings after a fresh SNOW, you can find the boys bundling up before breakfast and racing outside to play in the snow.  I love their eager, enthusiastic, adventuresome spirits!  Building snowmen, sledding down the awesome hill behind the house, eating icicles, bouncing on a snow-laden trampoline, or having Daddy pull them behind the quad (the ultimate fun!).  They've also been little workers when it comes to stacking firewood.  Burnell and his crew drive the golf cart back and forth to stack the wood Daddy has split.  Growing into little workin' men!  
Next post should be baby news ... :-)

Thankfulness ...

At times I am overwhelmed with feelings of thankfulness.  Thankfulness for what the Lord has done.  And, thankfulness for those he has put in my life.  I do not know where I would be ... perhaps on an entirely different path.

I am also thankful for the men and women that have gone before me and faithfully taught me from God's Word.  Taught me to love my husband, to cherish him, to minister to him, serve him - with a self-less love.  Taught me to honor him and obey him.  Taught me to yield "submit" to him and his leadership.  So thankful for these truths that have kept me walking towards my Dwight.  So thankful for our 9+ years of marriage, with its ups and downs ... but its eternal rewards.

I am also thankful for those who have taught me to desire children, and to live my life in such a way that they are nourished, developed, and treasured.  It's not always the easiest route for me to take, and I certainly have not "arrived" as a parent, but it is the most rewarding path ... and I keep pursuing it.  So thankful for the wisdom of mothers and fathers who point me back to the Word, who remind me of the glorious undertaking of raising these little men. I am blown away by what the Lord has done in my life - through these little blessings.  Who would have imagined???  I certainly have not planned my life this way.  Soooo thankful!

I am so thankful, and should you need or want similar encouragement, I want to share their wisdom with you, too. There are several other places for encouragement, too, but these are the ones I regularly return to.  No Greater Joy is full of family resources, bible studies, child training info, marriage info.  I look forward to getting their free magazine every few months.  Such an encouragement!!  For mothers ... so encouraging to hear from these ladies on nutrition, mothering, being good wives, etc.  Ann Voskamp's site.  I don't frequent it much, but it has some good encouragement for when I'm going through a slump.  Remembering thankfulness!!  A blog by Lisa Jacobson.  Encouragement for mothers, wives.  Marriage and family tidbits that make me smile.

Wonderful Books!!
One Thousand Gifts - by Ann Voskamp (a lesson in thankfulness, trust, walking with God)
100 Days of Blessing - by Nancy Campbell (practical, daily refocusing for mothers)
The Power of Motherhood - by Nancy Campbell (changed my vision for my life)
Created to be a Help Meet - by Debi Pearl (helps me remember how to love and serve my man!)
The Love Dare - Kendrick (helped retrain my thinking about unconditional love)
Large Family Logistics (help with the practical day to day stuff in a family)

Also, great sources of wisdom come from my dear friends and family who also love the Lord and have walked before me.  Paula Johnson, Jenise Johnson, Lisa Voetberg, Catherine Leavitt, Blance Tadlock, Dauna Johnston, Heidi Kalebaugh ... you are all so encouraging and ministering by your examples and your words.  Very blessed to know you and learn from you!!

The WILD summer!

It was a summer of FUN!  A summer of PROJECTS, PREP, and PEOPLE.  Summer was soooo packed, that I couldn't make it onto this blog thing to post.  But, alas, a few moments of reprieve in which to update our interested friends of the happenings in our lives.  If YOU are just such an interested person ... read on. :-)

Oh, the PROJECTS .... Not a moment to rest around here.  Once the irrigation water comes on in April, its full-time water maintenance on this expansive grassy property.  Dwight and the boys handle the wheel lines ... the boys getting hands-on training every day.  Burnell has become Dwight's right-hand man when it comes to moving the lines all the way back (each week or so). Hand signals have to be followed precisely and timing is of the essence.  Burnell has really stepped up.  So fun to see him turning into a capable young man.

For some time now, the sagging roof in this mobile has needed to be dealt with.  However, life being what it is ... the project always winds up low on the priority list.  Until this summer!!!  The remodel project happened ... right before Camp!  Phase One (the living room) was done -- wood floor installed -- the night before Camp.  Whew!  Furniture moved back in, guest rooms readied ... Ah!  Then, a few days after camp, we began Phase Two (the next room).  With our consistent rapid pace and hurried life, we rushed through the project, staying up late painting, then laying carpet the day before our company arrived.  We then moved ALL the rooms around, furniture and belongings (Dwight and I to the new room, downstairs, they boys upstairs, and the guest room to the back). All this was done ... in a hurry!   We are still rearranging and settling in ... as is to be expected.  However, the remodel is almost done (a few trim pieces and painting left) and everything in its new place.  What an amazing difference it makes in this home.  Everything feels so much more cozy and insulated.  Loving it!!!

We've stayed pretty close to home this year (other than Dwight's travels with Bend Soap Company).  We did make one trip up the Dufur for a friend's wedding, and one blueberry picking trip with a stop off at Sahalie Falls.  Other than that, life has been so full and we have enjoyed you coming to us.  So fun to catch up with Daniel and Genevieve and their children.  My family from CO, MA, and CA all visited, and I got to meet my nephew, Reed Puckett, for the first time.  So much fun to have my family around.

It's been a summer of growth for our boys, as well.  Jumping off the roof onto the trampoline has been taken to the next level.  Now, back flips, front flips and all sorts of acrobatics are performed.  A summer by the pond has produced more efficient swimmers.  So much fun to be had!  

Milking and feeding the goats has become an official daily responsibility for the entire crew.  Each morning and evening, they all "load up" on the quad and head up to the goats.  Each "man" has his duty -- Burnell milks Chewy, Orin milks Patches (our new goat), Dwight milks Skitso, while Chance and Ty give grain to the doelings.  Then, they all feed together.  They've become quite the efficient team.  So proud of them!

Dwight has been wanting to take the boys camping all summer ... and they finally went!  Pretty sure it got down to freezing.  They had a blast!!  Apparently we have some interested fishermen in the family.  They spent hours learning how to cast, untangle their lines, recast, untangle, recast. :-)  Dwight said they loved it so much that when they came home, they had to go buy some more gear and then head out again to a different spot.  How fun!  Hoping they actually catch fish next time. :-)

It's about time to put up the hay again, and we've begun school again.  Enjoying the coziness of our "new" home.  Looking forward to a beautiful fall season (my favorite).