Sunday, December 28, 2008

Basketball Stars

I still haven't gotten all of my December pictures loaded, but I did manage to get this video transferred. TaTa & PaPa got Adam & Evan a basketball goal for Christmas, so my back entrance way has now become the basketball court. Evan has quite a shot! Adam is not as interested--he likes to throw the ball, but not necessarily towards the goal. If you watch the video you'll see Evan trying to give him a few tips. As Adam throws the ball into the kitchen, Evan says, "Not that say....silly boy!". We may have a future basketball coach in the family! Thank you TaTa & PaPa for the fun gift. Now I can't wait until spring so it can go OUTSIDE!

P.S. Notice we were playing "dress-up basketball". We've been home for so long we have played with every toy in the house (including the new ones)--we even pulled out the Woody & Buzz costumes this afternoon. It is time to go back to school!!Emma has beenbeging to go back.

OOPS! Haven't been able to get video to post...still trying. It may be too big.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Catching Up......again!

Obviously I'm not that great at blogging.....I swear I'm going to do better in 2009. I know it is already past Christmas, but I wanted to start with a quick look at our November:

Early November
Jeff went in to check on the boys before we headed to bed and found them both sleeping soundly, although Adam had obviously taken some time before falling asleep to undress himself from the waist down! One of his Occupational Therapy goals right now is dressing/undressing himself, so I'm sure he was just practicing!

This is just a glimpse of our daily lives....every day one of the four come up with some equally as interesting new experiment. This day, it was sleeping naked....tomorrow will be something totally new and exciting!

Evan was sleeping soundly....fully dressed.

November 20th
Ethan's Kindergarten class celebrated Thanksgiving with a huge feast with all 4 Kindergarten classes. They even had a visit from a real live Pilgrim! I love party days at school--it always makes me so thankful that God did not chose to make me a teacher.....and even more thankful for those that He did!

This is the Turkey that Ethan's class made together. Each child got to decorate a feather. Too cute!

Ethan & the Pilgrim (Heather Dorsey - Emma Dorsey's Mom):

November 23rd
We celebrated two birthdays....Mary-Kaylin (turned 8) and PaPa (turned 64!) at Playtime Pizza. It was awesome! The kids had a blast--especially Adam & Evan who LOVED the little cars. I could barely drag them away. The big kids played laser tag & rode go-carts. The best part....I won 300 tickets playing "Deal or No Deal"! Happy Birthday Mary-Kaylin & PaPa!!

Ethan & Mary-Kaylin are best of friends. They LOVE to be together!

Thanksgiving Day
We had such a lazy, low key Thanksgiving that I didn't even take a picture! I think that TaTa did, so I'll have to get her to share with me. We had a great Thanksgiving dinner at TaTa & PaPa's house. TaTa makes the best dressing (PaPa always cooks the cornbread for her)--there is no place I'd rather be on Thanksgiving than with my family.

Day After Thanksgiving:
I have not ventured out on "Black Friday" in a while, but this year I decided to get up early and see what kind of bargains I could find. I started out at Target (it was CRAZY) and also hit Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Toys-R-Us. It has also been a long time since I've been shopping by myself so it was nice! I got a good start on my Christmas shopping, and even picked up my own Christmas present--a new camera at Best Buy!! All of my post-Thanksgiving pictures are on the new camera, which I haven't hooked up to the computer yet, so I'll have to do that before I can continue my blogging. Check back because my goal is to be completely caught up before this weekend is over!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Playing Catch-up

OK, so I've not done very well keeping up with my blogging. This is always the busiest time of year for us.....way too much to do! Scroll down to see a little of how we spent our October:

Happy Halloween!

October 31st
Finally, Halloween! After 3 Fall Carnivals (IBC, eStem Middle School, & eStem Elementary), I was ready for Halloween to get here! We had fun trick-or-treating with our Hippy (Emma), Ninja (Ethan), Woody (Evan), and Buzz Lightyear (Adam), along with a cool Life Guard (Emma's friend, Anna).

Adam & Evan loved dressing-up as their favorite movie heros, and quickly figured out the whole candy thing. They were so sweet saying "Trick or Treat" & "Thank You" at each door. Adam was especially excited about his cool Buzz Lightyear wings and boots. I thought he was going to have to sleep in them!

Adam Johnson has never been happier!

Ninja Ethan
Emma & Anna were almost too cool to trick-or-treat.
They enjoyed passing out candy as much as getting it!

Ethan's Orange Belt

October 29th
Ethan has been taking Taekwondo for a couple of months and earned his first belt--an orange belt. I was so proud of him! He was the only one testing for an orange belt and got up there all by himself and did great! Won't be long until we are living with a black belt!

Ethan & his instructor, Mr. Beasley

Happy 11th Birthday Emma Kate!!

October 24th
I can't believe my sweet Emma Kate is 11-years-old! Last year, I swore we had had our last BIG birthday celebration, and this year we were just going to have a few friends sleep over. Well, our little sleepover ended up being a 24 hour celebration, but I have to say it was one of the best days ever. We had such fun and couldn't have asked for better weather or better kids to hang out with. Emma is blessed with a group of super sweet friends who made her Birthday extra special! Here are a few highlights from our day:

Wish I had a picture, but Jeff picked up Emma & Karmyn from school and had the windows of the van painted with "Happy Birthday, Emma". She loved it!

The rest of the crew arrived by 6 p.m., and we headed to the Arkansas Children's Theatre to see Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business. First, the girls showed out with a little "monkey business" of their own:

Emma was sweet to let her little brother tag along!

After the show, we had a late dinner at Buffalo Grill (it really is our favorite!).
Mal Mal stopped by to wish Emma a Happy Birthday.
Is Emma taller than Mal Mal now? Surely not!!
Then home for cake and presents. You know I can't do a birthday party without a theme, so this year's theme was Tinkerbell, which was sort of a joke because Emma is so not a Tinkerbell/Fairy Princess kind of girl! The girls had fun wearing their fairy crowns and drinking from Tinkerbell cups! Then off to bed!
Emma had a soccer game the next day, and brought along her own cheerleaders! I told Jeff that now I know a little bit what the Duggars must feel like as I packed snacks for 8 kids for the day!

After the game, we stopped at a little pumpkin patch in Ward and enjoyed our own personal hayride and petting zoo. Everyone got a pumpkin to take home with them.

On the way home, we stopped off at the all new Rocket Slide at Burns Park to play for a little bit and for some snacks. It was a whirlwind of a day, but so much fun! Next year, I promised Jeff we would just have a little birthday celebration. His response...."Yeah, right. I'll believe it when I see it!" What can I say--I love to celebrate my children's birthdays. They were, after all, the best days of my life!

Blue Angels

October 19th
On Sunday afternoons, I usually try to get the kids all out of the house for a while so that Jeff can have some quiet study time. This Sunday was a special treat....we went to the LRAFB to see the air show that ended with the Blue Angels. Jon-Austen and Mary-Kaylin went will us as well. It was a beautiful afternoon and the show was pretty incredible! The boys LOVED the airplanes, but you'll see from the pictures that Adam & Evan didn't quite make it all of the way through. In fact, they both fell asleep right in the middle of the Blue Angels, although I'm not sure how because it was sooooo LOUD! We laughed at Adam asleep with his hands over his ears!

Evan & Adam enjoying the show....before they fell asleep!
Mary-Kaylin & Ethan found some shade in the stroller!
Adam & one of his buddies, Jon-Austen

It's Arkansas State Fair Time!

October 17th
We did not go to the fair as a family this year (can't imagine taking 2 two-year-olds to the fair!), but Ethan's Kindergarten class did get to go. Jeff was out that day and got to go with them. They had a great time going through the barns and looking at all of the animals. Ethan's favorite part, of course, was the shotgun game that Jeff let them play.

Ethan with his friends and his teacher, Miss Files

Thursday, November 6, 2008

School's Out!

Emma & Ethan were out of school. Emma had a little sleepover with two of her school friends, Maddie & Christina. We went to dinner at Buffalo Grill (our favorite!) and a movie. The next day Emma & Ethan both had dentist appointments, and Emma's friends tagged along with us. After the dentist, we went to the Old Mill in NLR. Everyone (including Ethan) had a fun time posing for some cute pictures.

Adam Evan Christina, Emma & Maddie
Just a few of the pictures that we took at the Old Mill:

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Soccer Win!

The LRFC Stars had their first ever win this morning!! Emma's team is playing in a tournament at Burns Park, and won their first game 3-0. I had stayed home with the boys so I missed it, but Jeff said the girls were over the top with excitement. Hopefully that taste of a win will motivate them to always play as hard as they did this morning!

The afternoon game did not go quite as well. After a few bad calls by the ref a couple of the parents were a little upset. The ref ended up throwing ALL of the parents out of the game!! It was really ridiculous, and we didn't end up leaving, but we did all have to move back about 20 feet and watched the rest of the game from the sidewalk. The girls ended up losing the game 0-3, although they didn't seem that upset that all of their parents had been kicked out. In fact, they seemed to think it was pretty funny. I think they were laughing at us as we were packing up to move. I'm also pretty sure that we are out of the running for the "Fair Play" award--ho well! The funniest part to me was that Jeff couldn't wait to call his brother to tell him that he had been thrown out of a soccer game!! James Jr. was so proud!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Adam's MRI & EEG

Adam had an EEG & MRI done at ACH on Monday. He did really well. We did the EEG first, and Adam DID NOT like it at all....they glued 24 wires to his head and he cried the whole time with Jeff holding him still. Then, she said, "OK, now I need him to go to sleep". Jeff and I just looked at each other, both thinking, "There is no way he is going to go to sleep after that!" Jeff stayed in the room and laid down on the bed with him while I waited outside and started praying. I also called my Mom to ask her to pray that he would settle down and go to sleep. After about 5 minutes I could tell he had stopped crying, then 15 minutes later the tech came out and they were done! The power of prayer!

I had a meeting at work that I had go to so I left for a while and got back just as they were starting the MRI. They already had him sedated and in the machine. Jeff said that he did pretty good, although he DID NOT want to put on the hospital pajamas (I don't blame him...they were a little itchy!). The nurse gave him about 50 stickers which seemed to have made him happy. He went to sleep with a death grip on them! The MRI just took about 20 minutes, and Jeff carried him back to a little recovery area where he slept for about 15 more minutes before we started trying to wake him up. He did not want to wake up at first, even after a cold wet washcloth on his head. Then the nurse put a little bag of Teddy Grahams in his hand--his eyes immediately popped open and he started stuffing them in his mouth!! Poor baby had not eaten since 6:30 a.m. and was starving! He ate two bags of Teddy Grahams in about 5 minutes. Jeff and I were laughing at him--Adam is definitely one who is motivated by food! We stayed for about 10 more minutes and headed home. Adam was feeling really good and quite silly after his little dose of medicine. He stumbled around for a little while and was completly back to his fun little self in no time at all. Kids are so amazing....if I had been through what he had I would have headed straight for the bed!

Now the good news.....thanks to my colleague (Medical Record Director) at ACH, I already have the results of the MRI and it was NORMAL! Praise God! We really did not expect them to find anything, but we are happy for this confirmation that we are on the right track. We should have the results of the EEG by Thursday, but again I expect that it will be completely normal.

I must say, anytime that I am feeling down about what Adam is facing, I need make a visit to Arkansas Children's Hospital. Jeff and were again reminded as we walked the halls at ACH how blessed we are to have four healthy children, and although we know that Adam has some challenges ahead of him, this pales in comparison to what some families are facing.

Thank you to all who are praying for Adam and for our family. We truly feel God's hand at work sustaining us through each day.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Music to my Ears!

October is always a busy month, and obviously I am behind with my updates, but I wanted to share a wonderful moment that I experienced last week.

One night last week Evan and I were playing Hide & Seek in our room. Actually, he was just hiding behind the curtains and would come out squealing when I would ask, "Where did Evan go?", and of course I would appear absolutly astonished and surprised at his magical appearance! After a while, Adam decided to come in to join us. I was so amazed because generally he does not join in when we are playing and avoids this type of chaos. However, this night he came right in and began hiding with Evan, and joined in the squealing when it was time to reveal themselves. We had a ball! Then, even more amazing, Adam went to the bedroom door and turned around and said, "Come on, Bubba". (It wasn't quite that clear, but I could tell from his gestures what he was saying). He wanted Evan to come with him! I got so excited I said, "Evan, Bubba wants you...go, go, go!!" Evan followed him and Adam shut the door behind them. After a few seconds, he opened the door and they both came running back in--Adam squealing and Evan yelling, "We're home!". I was thrilled!

You may wonder why this small game was so exciting to me. As a Mom of twin boys, I've had this vision of them being best buddies and playmates. Until that moment I have never really seen them playing together. It was also the first time that I have seen Adam initiate play of any kind. Those three little words...."Come on, Bubba"....were truly music to my ears. A glimmer of hope, and the best game of Hide & Seek I've ever played!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

15 Years

October 9, 1993
Jeff & I celebrated our 15th anniversary on Thursday (October 9th). Actually, between work, school, soccer, and taekwondo, we barely saw each other on Thursday. We did celebrate Friday night with dinner at Cajun's Wharf and then on to The Rep to see Les Mis. It was so nice to have dinner without having to cut up four plates of food or cleaning up the floor before leaving! The show was the best we've ever seen. Seriously, it was even better than most that we've seen on Broadway!

How about those then & now pics? I think we've done pretty good! I truly can not believe that it's been 15 years since we started our life together. It has been an incredible journey, and I can't imagine spending my life with anyone but Jeff Johnson. Here are my most memorable moments of the past 15 years:

1993 – Cream….Gold….Gardenias, October 9th – Our Wedding
1994 – North Carolina, Weekends Home, Hours on the Phone
1995 – London, “There was a king of York…”
1996 – Our First Home, Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway
1997 – October 24th – Emma Kate
1998 – Australia, Emma as Raggedy Ann
1999 – “Bobble Silk-Silk”, Paw Paw, "Can Emma Come Out to Play?"
2000 – April 9th – Paw Paw’s Homecoming Day, Hawaii
2001 – Our First Beach Vacation, Monkey Party
2002 – Disney World, September 19th – Ethan Daniel
2003 – 10 Years! New England Cruise, Kindergarten
2004 – Emma's Baptism, Jeff to China x 6, $7000 Phone Bill (Oops!)
2005 – California, Disneyland, July 21st – Owen James
2006 – Bed rest, Prayers, June 1st – Adam O’Neal & Evan Callahan
2007 – Nursing School….2 babies…..The Rest is a Blur
2008 – Bicycling Through Seaside, 2 Two-year-olds....Will We Survive It?

I can't wait to see what the next 15 years have in store for us!