Monday, September 29, 2008

One Sweet Show!

This weekend, my brother Curt and I decided last minute to see Robert Plant and Alison Krauss in concert for their Raising Sand Tour.  It's been a while since either of us has been to a concert, but we were both so glad we did!  The tour wasn't even scheduled to come through Oklahoma City, but after Hurricane Ike, they had to cancel their show in Texas and decided to come North and donate all the proceeds from the show to hurricane relief.  The show was AMAZING, we both had goosebumps the entire time!   Imagine the best classic rock, blues and bluegrass combined into one big ball of musical genius! It's just one of those unforgettable shows that will never happen again and I feel so cool that I got to experience it!  It has even inspired me to work out a few new riffs on my ol' mandolin, and I'm sure Curt's doing the same on his guitar!   

Friday, September 19, 2008


I'm not doing a stellar job of documenting my girls' milestones on this blog.  I think it's because they do something new so frequently and I usually vindicate myself by saying "Ah well, they will do something else grand tomorrow and I'll write that down for sure."
But these two things were biggies and so I'm going to share them proudly!
Last week, I put Winnie down for a nap with all the usual apparatus.  Blankie? Check.  Bear? Check.  Binki?  Nowhere to be found.  Now folks, this was deja vu for me.  When June was exactly this age, she owned about 20 binkis and would gladly die before she parted with a single one of them.  I tried every trick in the book to convince her she didn't need one anymore - including a Jedi mind trick.  I think we even tried tying one to a baloon and watching it float away, to no avail.  Binki was her drug of choice until she was 3.  Anyway, back to Winnie.  Of course she asked for it.  "Dee-dee Mama?" So I decided to tell her the truth and brace for the worst.  "Mommy can't find it."  My sweet little Winnie's reply was a disappointed, "Otay."  Not a fight, not a tear, not another word about it.   And she hasn't asked for it since!  I had no idea things could be so simple!  One less thing I have to remember to pack everywhere we go or so I though.  I hardly had time to bask in the binki-less glow, when I noticed that Winnie didn't give up her binki, she replaced it.  For the past four days, Winnie has packed her dolly's little green sippy cup all over town!  It's not even a real sippy cup!  At first I thought I was crazy for noticing something so silly, but my fears were confirmed today when she woke up crying in the middle of her nap and asking for "tup."  This lesson only reaffirms that if it seems too good to be true, it usually is. 
Now lets move on to June's major accomplishment.  I have to preface this story by saying that June and I have been doing "school" for an hour every day while Winnie takes her nap.  She's such a whipper-snapper, and she wants to know how to read so badly.  Although I really don't know what I'm doing, I created my own curriculum to get her reading before kindergarten.  Before we started, she knew all her letters and the sounds that most of them made, so I have been teaching her about letter blends, long and short vowels, and the silent "E."  I didn't think June was even making the connection that these letter sounds became words, until a couple of weeks ago.  We were sitting at the table as a family, a rarity while Dad is studying for mid-terms, and June picked up one of Kolby's pharmacology flash-cards and began sounding it out.  Our mouths dropped open and I think we were a little in shock.  June sounded out her first word: 


I have to admit, I was a bit freaked out.  I wouldn't have been more surprised if she had levitated the sugar bowl with mind powers.  I didn't know what else to do, so after praising her extensively for her mental feat, I wrote down the words cat, mom, dad, and dog for her to sound out, just to make sure it wasn't a fluke.  She read them all like a pro!  So there you go, my little Junie is a reader!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Big Girls' Day Out

It was a big day for June and me today.  We had an official "Big Girls' Day Out" and thoroughly enjoyed High School Musical on Ice.  June felt like a big girl because she got to spend some time with just mom and enjoy her first live show (although she referred to it as "the movie" all day).  I felt like a big girl because I drove all over Oklahoma City by myself and didn't get lost!  I would have included a picture of both gals, but we had to run a mile through a down-pour and I looked like a drowned rat, not flattering.  June is the only girl I know who can pull off the wet look. 
The show was great!  Our seats were nearly in the nosebleed section, but it was almost better that way, we didn't miss a single trick from such great heights!  June sang and danced the entire time!  When the skaters would ask for audience participation, June wore out her little lungs screaming right back at them.  
June has watched High School Musical one and two on the Disney Channel several times, but I had no idea that she knew the music so well.  For those who have seen the show, one of the boys admits that he plays the cello.  June shot me a look of confusion, and asked, "Mom, that's pretty weird, how do you play the jell-o?"  
She sang the whole way home, and added a bit of June flair:  "What time is it?  It's suffocation!" Oh well, I like June's lyrics better than the original anyway!  

Monday, September 8, 2008

Winnie Juliet Johnson

Two years ago on this the eighth day of September, I gave birth to this beautiful, big-faced baby girl.  Winnie Juliet smiled the very first day she was born.  I suppose she thought it was pretty funny that mom had to endure 14 hours of labor knowing full well that no amount of pushing would propel her noggin through the birth canal.  She's been smiling ever since.        

Winnie, we love you for so many reasons, and here are some things about you that make us smile these days:

1.  You sing happy birthday to Uncle Jimmy in a deep, smoldering voice every day.  And deep down, you know he hears you!

2.  Your gappy grin is always plastered over your face, as well as most of your peanut butter sandwich from lunch.  Sometimes you even save a little for later in the creases of your neck.

3.  You have perfected the art of sauntering into a room, your left shoulder always tucked tightly under your demure face.

4.  You ask dad if he is okay each and every time he coughs or sneezes.  What a compassionate little lady.

5.  You and you alone can push big sister June's buttons at the drop of a hat.  Heaven knows how many of June socks we have found shoved under the kitchen oven.  All in a days work for a wreaker of havoc.

6.  You may be as white as snow, but you dance like a soul sista - all in the hips!  

7.  You have used your feces as an artistic medium only once.  We are so happy you moved on to more sophisticated substances such as desitin, toothpaste, and red dye number 40.

8.  Your cheeks are as squeezable as the Campbell Soup kid's.  And you never complain that mom's favorite thing to do is snuggle right into your wrinkles!

9.  Without fail, you offer a polite hello to the clock and the picture of Jesus that hang above our table at meal time.

10. You beg for more kisses at bedtime and never forget to say "I ub ooo mama and dada."  

We love you so much Winn!  Happy 2nd Birthday!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Winnie's Turning Two!!!

Okay, so we realize that it's not actually Winnie's birthday until the 8th of September, but we had to jump the gun!  Tish and the kids are going to Utah next week and we really wanted them to join the celebration.  So we had Winnie's pre-birthday luau a week early!


I think the party was a success!  We created our own kiddie water park in the back yard and nearly flooded the joint.  We dug into a delicious volcano cake that actually erupted hot chocolate powder (thanks to dad's genius)  and Winnie really enjoyed opening her presents this year.  By the end, all the kids were crying because they didn't want to go home!  

Sorry this video is sideways.  I always forget that videos post only one direction.  The older kids really had a blast on our make-shift water slide!  Even the little guys gave it a try.


The kids spent most of their time at the cool oasis.  Winnie is definitely not afraid of water.  She already dunks under and holds her breath!  I'm not sure where she learned how to do it.  Maybe by watching the Olympics!  June, on the other hand, hates even a drop of water in her face.  She wears goggles in the tub! 


This video is my favorite.  I don't think any of these kids had ever seen a water balloon fight before.  I'm not sure they got the idea.  But it was a hoot to watch!  Thanks to all the friends and cousins who came and made Winnie's birthday party so special!  What a fun day!  

Winnie's Birthday Luau!