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for His pleasure: November 2011

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has been moved to new address

for His pleasure

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
for His pleasure: November 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

St. Louis

I'm going back in time just for a few days because I wanted to blog about some of our special memories on our trip.  As much as I tell myself I'll sit down and work on our scrapbooks, it hasn't happened in about 2 years.  SO, thank God for blogging.  Amen?!

We left the day after Thanksgiving and the drive took us 16.5 hours.  Really not bad for having three little ones.  They were good as gold and I couldn't have been happier with how things went.  I am so thankful to God for their flexible little hearts. :-)

We took our "big" rest stop in St. Louis because we wanted to get some sight seeing and dinner in while there.  The timing was perfect and the lighting beautiful.

One of my favorite pictures...unedited...taken while sitting in the van at a red light.

The kids were in heaven -- climbing those stairs and running in the grass was just the medicine they needed after car seats all day.

As you can see, Shiloh was just a little ticked that we made her pause for pictures.

They sat remarkably still for these sibling photos.  Aren't they lovely?  

 12 hours in the car at this point and still happy as ever.  That's my kids!!! 
{We are trying to remember the positive after the episodes in JoAnn's today.}

We got to witness this engagement.  So sweet!  That man stood out there under the arch for what seemed like endless minutes, waiting for his girlfriend to arrive.  

Meanwhile, my girls kept running up dangerously close to his candles...I'm positive they were trying to swipe a few of his goods.  I've never been so thankful for that girlfriend...when she finally showed up.

She said yes by the way.

 We finished up with Taco Bell for dinner.  Is that a romantic ending or what?

P.S. When we go back I'm kidnapping Steven and hoisting him on that river boat for a little cruise by moonlight.  Now that's romance.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Greetings From Oklahoma!

I walked out into our living room at 5:30am this morning, groggier than usual because I'm still stuck in eastern time and because I haven't had to wake up early while on vacation.  
And I was greeted with the most beautiful sight:  
our Christmas tree all lit up and unfinished decorations strewn all over the living room and kitchen.

That's where I am this morning.  
Typing in the quiet of my living room, which will turn to beautiful chaos when the kiddos wake up.

My heart is calm, my body is rested after a 12-day vacation, 
and my mind is clear after an accidental internet sabbatical.

It's good to be home though.  Oklahoma, I missed you.  
I missed your plains, your windy unpredictable weather, and your sunsets.  

I missed my now-familiar.

Sixteen and half hours didn't trample our spirits for the weekend.  
We filled it up full -- in true Johnson style.  Went to the tree farm yesterday afternoon...  

South Carolina, what Oklahoma lacks in apple farms, they make up for in Christmas tree farms.

We got a free hayride, which the kids absolutely loved...

Can you tell???

And we're working on Keller sticking up to Shiloh like a man...

He thinks battle wounds from sister are cool, but we're trying to convince him male domination is cooler.

You would almost think she was innocent, wouldn't you?

And this one???

...has increased in energy lately.  Two words. 


That's the best photo we could get of the three musketeers together.  Anyone else dreading Christmas photos like I am?  Man, cheer up Mary Beth.  At the very least, you'll get a good funny one. :-)

I made this Advent wreath this weekend for our church.  I used a combo of artificial sprigs from Ikea and some live evergreen from my Mother-in-law's yard.  {Thanks, Tammy!}  

We're celebrating Advent this year at our house too.  I can't wait to see how excited the kiddos get when we get our calendar done!  

Here's my inspiration:

It's from Pottery Barn and I can't find it online anymore so it must be last year's?

I am almost caught up on laundry and house cleaning after coming home, 
so I can dive guilt-free into the Advent calendar project today with the kids. And I might, just might, be listening to bluegrass Christmas music while we do it.

I better get on it!

Happy, happy, happy Christmas!  

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tips For Creating A Thanksgiving Table

I guest posted here last week on the topic of setting a Thanksgiving table.  In case you all didn't get a chance to stop over and visit Courtney from A Diamond In the Stuff, I thought I would share the table spread I created over here too.

With Thanksgiving nearly upon us {less thank a week!}, and lots of entertaining opportunities in the weeks ahead, I thought it was the perfect time to talk about getting creative with your Thanksgiving table. 

First of all, have a theme or direction you want to go in.  I prefer an earthy/natural look and gravitate towards neutrals.  I like bringing in elements from the outdoors to the indoors.
And I'll let you in on a secret: it's much cheaper to decorate this way!  
My kids and I collect leaves, acorns, branches, you name it, and create things all the time for free!

Carry that theme throughout your table setting while being subtle.  
It’s in the little things.

Think in layers!  I like to use lots of texture...

The centerpiece.

It need not be big and showy, but it should be substantial enough that it anchors the table in the center.  Make sure guests seated can see across the table, without having to crane their heads to see around it.

Make the seats personalized.  
Name cards are a no-brainer way you can do this.  Besides, I kinda have a thing for them. 

It’s also wise to have something at each seat that gets conversation started, just in case that uncle you haven’t seen in years says something awkward and you need an out.  

I tucked cards in my napkins at each place setting for guests to write things they're thankful for...

 Don't be afraid to mix and match your dishes.  

You should, however, attempt to have a common thread going with some of your pieces.

The goal is to create something YOU love and that has guests wanting to linger at the table, 
long after the meal is done.  

Are you hosting Thanksgiving at your house this year?  
I would love to see what table spreads you come up with!

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Greetings From Michigan!

Greetings from Michigan!  Snow is on the forecast for today and our family is just lounging around in PJ's all morning.  The baking itch is hitting me.  Lots of people here to eat it so maybe I will indulge myself.

I'll be honest, I was extremely nervous about a 15+ hour car ride with 3 itty bitty kids.  We're pretty adventuresome, but that long of a car ride just seemed like a nervous break down in the making.

But can I give a huge shout out for the grace of God, a hubby who can rig a mini TV in our van, and the world's best travelers for children?!!!  I was seriously so proud of them.  

Would you believe I actually got to relax for once?!  I read magazines {Thank you Tammy!}, talked uninterrupted with the hubs, cat napped, ate cookies with no limitations, knitted, {catching up from last Thanksgiving} and listened to this new CD.

I'm getting hopeful we can save and plan a trip overseas now....maybe a lofty goal?  But I want my kids to learn to be flexible and love travel as much as mommy and daddy.  
You name a place.  We want to live there or at least go see it.

We stopped only twice on the 10.5 hr. drive to Indianapolis.  TWICE people!
We are looking at a super happy and proud parenting moment here.  

{Our lunch stop in the heart of Indiana.}

Can I give you a little secret?  If you have girls about my girls' age and you want to keep them occupied in the car, go up to Wal Mart and get these little $2 Princess Sticker/coloring tablets near the card section of the store.  Steven picked 2 up for me and it kept the girls entertained for HOURS.  He is a genius.

Let's check out the goods...

The hubs and decided to go redneck and took the middle seat out of our van and turned it into a camper of sorts.  We have a huge cooler stocked full of food...and you know my kids love food.  We have lots of kid-sized blankets.  We have mommy's knitting spilling out everywhere.  We have a newspaper basket full of DVD's, book, and toys.  And last but not least, that fuzzy baby blue part at the bottom of the picture is our mini tv Steven rigged.  We thought it was better than those travel DVD players because the sound can be played much louder.  
Anyone else have a hearing issue with the travel DVD players?  
Oh, and Emma is holding one of those princess tablets.  If you're traveling with girls, go get one!

I quickly began having a love affair with Indiana countryside.  
It made it to my list of places I want to live - for at least a summer - before I die.

The city was pretty cool too...

We went here...

...the evening we stayed in Indianapolis.  Mommy got her fill of J.Crew. ;-)

Met up late that night for pizza in the city with our good friend Eliott...

Me and my girls...

The next morning I took Keller outside for more pictures.  The morning was overcast and I had a photography itch to scratch after being in the car for so many hours. 

Elliott gave us a tour of the mission where he works...

Then, lunch in the city at P.F. Changs...

 {Shiloh lovin' some egg roll!}

{Keller tryin' some lime wedges.}

 {Emma coloring her heart out.}

More driving...and now we're here!

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