Sunday, December 03, 2006

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

BBQ Anyone?

The funny thing (or not so funny thing) is that this picture was taken before it really started snowing hard!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Gift or Present?

Now that Thanksgiving is over, thoughts immediately turn to Christmas. (How can they not with the way it is thrown at you like a 90mph fast ball?) This weekend my Mom, Sister-in-Law, and I had a conversation about Christmas lists. I wouldn’t call it a debate, because we were all requesting lists from each other. However, I commented that it felt funny writing out a list of things I wanted. It felt sort of like saying, “Here’s what I want…get it for me”. My Mom, on the other hand, argued that it’s nice to get a Christmas list from someone and get them something they would really love and enjoy, rather than making an attempt (albeit, a sincere one) to pick something out for them that they might not need or want. On a side note, it’s funny to hear my Mom say this, because she, more than any other person I know, has the knack for picking out the PERFECT gift for anyone! Anyway, the topic brings up the bigger issue of gifts versus presents. My husband uses his pulpit to speak to this subject at least once a year at Christmas and sometimes more often than that. To buy someone a present, all that is required is that you go to the store, get something and give it. No forethought, no idea or even care if the person would like it. A gift, however, comes from the heart and has thought put behind it. A gift giver knows the receiver well enough to know what he/she might like, what their hobbies are, what their favorite color is, etc… But as I think about this, it seems to put tremendous pressure on me when buying gifts. I had better know my family and friends well enough to know exactly what they would or wouldn’t like. Yikes. So at the same time that I feel funny about writing out a Christmas list, I have to admit, I love getting them from all the members of my family. But all the while, I feel slightly saddened and guilty at what Christmas has become in terms of materialism. How about you? Do you have a vote for Christmas lists or no Christmas lists, how about a comment on the commercialism or materialism of Christmas? Click on the comment link below this post to add your remark or opinion. In the mean time, if you vote “yes” for lists, you can checkout For a cool site for creating those holiday wish lists.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

True Thankfulness

On Thanksgiving morning I was up while the house was quiet and everyone was still sleeping. As I sat in my overstuffed chair with my hands wrapped around a steaming cup of coffee, I began to think about the things I’m thankful for. It was half in the form of a prayer and half just letting my mind ponder. It went something like this…”Lord, I’m so thankful for the blessings that you’ve given me that I don’t deserve. I’m so thankful for my family and the relationship that we have. Family, family, hmmm, I wonder what I should get my Dad for Christmas, maybe clothes….Hmmm, my son really needs some new clothes too, Hmmm, JC Penney is having a huge sale tomorrow….Hmmm, I really need some new clothes. Gee, I could get myself those pants I’ve been needing and I’m sure they would have some great shirts and sweaters, ooh, and a new belt...” You can see where this went. What started as thankfulness very quickly turned into a “me-centered” deluge of thoughts and a list of things I wanted. Ouch. Luckily I caught myself. My next round of thinking went something like this…”What a scumbag I am. How could I be so selfish? Why am I so easily distracted that I can’t even focus on what I’m thankful for for 5 minutes without it becoming about me? I’m not worthy to be called a Christian, let alone a Pastor’s Wife.” And then it struck me. God’s mercies to me (and you) are new every morning. He wipes our slate clean and sees us that way each and every day. Now THAT’S really something to be thankful for.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Dark Day For Showers Everywhere

This morning at 5:45 (yes, I WAS up...don't look so surprised) we were having a big wind storm. It had snowed a couple of inches during the night and then warmed up and now was raining on top of the snow, creating gross slush. Anyway, at 5:45, the power went out. Probably a result of heavy, wet snow or a tree taking out the main line somewhere. Of course power outages mean not only losing power, but water, as well. After finding and lighting candles (a huge task because who knows where all my candles are since we just moved), I gathered my clothes and my makeup, and my myriads of hair care products (and my son and his clothes, etc...) and headed to my best friends house (in my pajamas) at 6:45 for a shower. (thank goodness for best friends).

Her and her husband graciously cleared out of the bathroom and master bedroom. I dropped my heap of stuff, got situated and started peeling my clothes off to jump in the shower. zzzzztttt, zzzzzttttt......darkness. Her power went out. Definitely not funny. So today I'm wearing extra deodorant and yesterday's hairdo. It's good thing that posting pictures on blogs is optional.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Where Do We Meet God?

I was feeling strange about following a serious post about Women of Faith with something as lighthearted as a sick kid on Halloween night. But when you think about it, and specifically for the Christian, isn’t that what life is really all about…merging the serious, deep issues of faith and your relationship with God with the mundane everyday tasks that make up our lives. Even when your life may contain sick kids, stacks of dirty dishes and laundry, a job or boss you’re disillusioned with… That is where we meet God on an everyday basis and it’s in those mundane and sometimes gross moments that we encounter the almighty God of the universe. He loves us so much that He’s willing to step into our disgusting world just to pursue relationship with us. It’s a sobering thought. So I suppose when I rethink my feelings of uneasiness at mixing blog posts about God and puke, it really drives me to thankfulness and a deeper relationship with Him.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Spook & Puke

As do all kids, my son had a wonderful Halloween. He was the cutest pirate in town. We Trick-or-treated with friends for a short time (it was VERY cold) and then went to McDonald's and had dinner (if you can call it that). I, of course, did the good parent thing and only let him have a piece or two of candy. Then we headed home to settle in for the night. In the middle of the night he crawled in bed with us and at 3:30 in the morning, right next to my head, I heard, "BLEH". You have never seen a woman jump out of bed so fast. He puked right next to my pillow. Ew. Turns out that when he told me earlier that night that his stomach hurt...he wasn't kidding. Happy Halloween...or not.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Women of Faith

Recently I received an email from Women Of Faith saying that the speakers would be appearing on Dr. Phil. The email said, “The Women of Faith Team is Spreading the Word on the Dr. Phil Show”. So I watched. I couldn’t believe what I saw. The TV Guide said the show was about women with phobias. I figured that because Patsy Clairmont suffered from Agoraphobia, they would be discussing that in some way or using it as a segue to other topics. Here is what was actually on. Patsy Clairmont did discuss her Agoraphobia, Marilyn Meberg talked about her germ phobia (in true hysterical Marilyn style). Here is what was NOT on the show. Not ONCE was name the God, Jesus, Lord or anything similar spoken. Not ONCE did any of the Women of Faith talk about their Faith in God. The show had NOTHING to do with spreading the Word, NOTHING to do with Christianity, and NOTHING to do with the Women of Faith. They barely even referred to the WOF as such. Mostly they called them inspirational speakers who speak at inspirational women’s conferences. It was completely a marketing ploy.

I am a WOF supporter and was blessed by a wonderful conference this spring. However, I could not help but feeling anger and disappointment at what happened on Dr. Phil. Of course the reason WOF were on Dr. Phil in the first place is because Robin McGraw (Dr. Phil’s wife) has been taking the platform as a WOF speaker. While I would never make judgments about Robin McGraw’s salvation, I have serious questions about her qualifications as a WOF speaker. At any rate, it was very clear that WOF was more concerned with gaining audience and market share and profit than spreading the word of the Gospel.

It’s great that a large audience of people was exposed to Women of Faith, it would have been far greater had they been exposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or even to the fact that that’s what Women of Faith is all about (supposedly).

If you happened to see the WOF on Dr. Phil or have concerns you’d like to express, you can email and voice your opinion. I did.

“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for it is the power of God unto Salvation to everyone who believes.” ~ Romans 1:16

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Skinny on Pants

The clothing industry is so frustrating!! All I have heard for the past couple of years is how “boot-cut and straight leg jeans make you look thinner”. “Avoid tapered leg pants to make your hips and butt look smaller”. “Look for a pant with a slimmer thigh and wider or straighter through the calf”. I have to say, I wholeheartedly agree. The recent trend in jeans has been fabulous, probably the best in several years. So what did I see plastered all over MSN a day or two ago? The new “in” style in pants….the (get this) SKINNY PANTS. What exactly are skinny pants you ask? Definitely not pants that make you LOOK skinny. No, they are pants that ARE skinny. Skin tight and tapered to just above the ankle (sort of like a pair of leggings from the 80’s). They accentuate every curve, lump, and bump you have. Especially the ones you are trying to hide. What is the fashion world thinking?? And, on top of that while we’re visiting the 80’s, you might as well throw in a pair of the other latest thing….leg warmers. Yeesh. I can only pray that as the stores stock their racks with skinny pants and leg warmers that they don’t go as far as adding those horrible aqua sweaters with crazy purple and yellow designs on them. Heaven help us as we strive to live through this and get back to normal pant-wearing.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

So Not Fair

Life never ceases to amaze me. While preparing for a recent vacation, I spent an entire 2 days washing clothes, packing, making preparations and reservations, making sure that every little detail was taken care of to ensure that every member of the family had the best time possible. My husband threw his clothes in a duffle bag 30 minutes before we packed the car and pulled out of the driveway.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Blogs are Back in Town

Gosh, I guess fall has gotten away from me. Time to get back to blogging. A few days ago my son came home from pre-school and announced, "I said an F word today at school". I was horrified. Where in world would he even have heard such a thing? What would the teacher (a friend from church) think? Did he get in trouble? I thought this would come much later in life than 4 years old.... He interrupted my whirlwind thoughts and said, "Foot. That was my word. Today's letter was F and everyone had to say an F word". Whew. Never a dull moment in the world of parenting.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Why Do I Even Try?

Conversation at our house on second day of Pre-school:

Me (to my husband): I have laid out his clothes for school and packed his backpack. Everything he needs is in there and it’s sitting by the door. Don’t forget it.

Husband: OK

Me: Son, don’t forget your pack. It has all the papers you need for school today.

Son: OK

Me (to my husband): I’m going to work now. See you later and don’t forget the backpack. I’ll pick him up at 3:00.

Husband & Son: Bye

Me: Goodbye and don’t forget the backpack!!

Later that morning, phone call from Me to husband:

Me: Hi, did you get him off to school OK?

Husband: Yes, but I forgot the backpack.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

More Work, Please!

Yesterday marked another milestone in our house. My son's first day of Pre-school. I was extremely worried that tears would be shed and fits would be thrown, but as it turns out, the only tears were mine. He did great. The teacher told the students each to bring a teddy bear because they are going to study bears this month. I told him, "If you're nervous, just hug your bear tight." We got to the classroom and looked around at all the things to do and I asked him, "What would you like to do first?" He said, "I think I'd like to get my bear out of my backpack and hug him tight."

After I picked him up from school (I don't even like the SOUND of that) and we were back home, he was upset because he didn't have any homework. I gave him pages to do out of a workbook we have at home where he identifies objects and then circles or writes the letter that it starts with. While he was doing that, I read a note the teacher sent home with the kids. It said, "This month we will be working on the letters A, B, & C". I just laughed. I hope this teacher knows what she's in for.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Could Be a Bad Thing

Today as I was driving to work, the "Bookmobile" was a few cars in front of me. I was pondering how nice it is that people who can't get to the library or live in rural areas can still have access to books. "Aren't books a wonderful thing", I thought... Yadda, yadda, yadda, I'm thinking warm fuzzy thoughts about the bookmobile. Then I reached the edge of town where the road turns to two lanes. I pulled up next to the Bookmobile and saw that in actuality, it was the Bloodmobile.
Cari's Tip of the Day: Don't confuse the Bookmobile and the Bloodmobile or you may be very unpleasantly surprised.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Speaking for women everywhere, I will say that I fully admit that we OCCASIONALLY do stupid things. We don't mean to and we try not to, but once in awhile something overtakes us and, yes, it does happen. Sometimes these stupid things affect the people around us, ie our husbands or children, but even worse than that is when we do something stupid that only affects us. Take for example, me. Now I consider myself to be a fairly level headed, thinking sort of person. I weigh the consequences of most of my actions and even tend to over-think most things. (my decision to bring home a new puppy, not withstanding). So the question I pose is why in the world would a over-thinking, conservative, non-risk taking person like myself decide to cut my own hair?? No good can come of that. I know that, you know WHY? I have no answer, just a really bad haircut. It seems my new fashion statement can be summed up in one word. Hat.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Yo Ho, Yoo Hoo?

I finally made it out of the house the other night to see Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest with a friend. It was great and entertaining and for 2 hours and 30 minutes made me forget about all the stress in my life.

However, there was a different kind of stress as I watched the movie. As we waiting to go into the theater, my friend and I saw MANY little kids going in with their parents. I'm talking LITTLE kids. I was worried for them the whole way through the movie. I'm not sure if any of them got any sleep that night, but I had plenty of nightmares for them. During the film, I had the pressing urge several times to jump out of my seat and cover the eyes of some unsuspecting little kid. My son is four and obsessed with pirates and wears his pirate hat day and night. (And I mean all day and all night - until it falls off in his sleep), but that movie would scare him to death. He gets nervous watching The Incredibles. My final movie review - This is a fantastic flick, but if you want to get any sleep, leave your little first mates at home.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Big Horn, Big Fun

Every now and then, husbands will do something that make you decide that all the time and effort you put into training them is well worth it. Mine did one such thing last weekend. While our son was away visiting his grandparents, my husband arranged for us to spend a night in a fantastic Bed and Breakfast called the Big Horn Lodge on the Bull River in Montana. He kept it a secret for almost 3 weeks and then when he finally put me in the car, he lied and said we were going somewhere else. Very cool. In my opinion, we are rarely truly surprised in life and this was one of those wonderful moments. The B & B was great and we were the only people in there, as we went on a weeknight, rather than the weekend. We relaxed (which we really needed) and basically did nothing. The one thing we did do, was spend some time in the hot tub. When we went into the tub, it was dusky outside (almost the longest day of the year in Mountain time zone, so it was late, yet light), when we came out, it was even later, and very dark. We carefully replaced the hot tub cover and made our way up and across the deck to the doors of the lodge. Locked. Okay, no problem, there’s another door over there. Locked. Alright, it’s a bit of a trek around to the front, but I’ll go around and let us back in. Locked. The hostess had no idea we were in the hot tub and locked every door and went to bed. I guess sometimes having a nice quiet night can be a bad thing.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


By special request, here is another picture of Maggie. I don't have many, so this will have to do in a pinch. She is already 3 times bigger than she is in this picture and I'm minus one pair of slippers, one pink flip-flop, and 4 shoelace tips that she has chewed up! By the way, Maggie is the dog, not the kid.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Fishing – My Way or the Highway

Friday was beautiful and sunny. “Let’s get up and go fishing for a few hours.” My Husband said to me.

“Sounds great” I said. So I made a latte, packed a little bag, got our son ready and away we went to the lake. We launch the boat and head to the far side of the lake, he throws the fishing poles out (we’re trolling) and puts them in the rod holders, I tune the radio in our boat to some easy listening music and we sit back in the seats to relax.

I pull out my latte and dig in my tote bag for my Woman’s Day magazine. I am having a great time. The sun is shining, the music is playing, I’m drinking a vanilla latte and perusing brownie recipes. This goes on for awhile (fishing is a little slow), but no problem…because I’m having a great time.

Then, I get a bite. I see the pole bend, so I carefully set my latte down. I set my magazine down on the other seat where it won’t get wet. I go to get the pole, but the fish is gone.

“What are you doing???” He asks, incredulously.

“I’m fishing.” I say, calmly.

“That is NOT fishing.” He says “How can you be fishing if you’re listening to music, drinking a latte, eating donuts and reading a magazine!!!” (Did I forget to mention the powdered sugar donuts?)

“It’s actually pretty easy.” I tell him.

Then comes the guilt trip. “I brought you out here to spend quality family time and to FISH with you. How can we fish together when you’re doing all that other stuff?”

The guilt trip works. I put away the magazine and put the latte away, too (only after chugging the last few swallows…I wouldn’t let that go to waste). Then lastly, I turned off the radio. I finally turn to him and say, “Ok. I’ve put it all away so I can fish with you. What would you like to talk about?”

He looks at me like I’m from another planet and says, “I don’t want to TALK to you, just sit there and fish!”

So much for my great time.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Long Blogless Weekend

I'm not sure where the end of this month went. I was positive that over the long Memorial Day weekend I would have lots of time to come up with some clever or interesting blog, but it was not the case. The pouring rain and cold weather must have washed away my creativity. It definitely eluded me and somehow continues to do so. The good news is that the sun is out, so maybe something new will be springing up soon.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

PlayDoh, Literally

As much as I've tried to shield him from it, last night my son got some PlayDoh as a prize in his kids meal from Burger King. He played with it for a long time and when it was time for bed I told him to clean it up. Of course, he had little bits of it all over the kitchen counter where he was sitting, so I showed him how to pick up the bits with the larger wad of dough. I said to him, "Watch, this is how it works with PlayDoh. You do this (showed him) and then all the little bits and pieces will stick to the big piece and it's all clean. That's how it works with PlayDoh."
He then asked me, "How does it work with Real Dough?"

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Life's Highlights

It’s never a dull moment at the Johnson household. Here are the (not-so) notable events from last week.

* We decided after a week and half, that we would keep our new puppy, Maggie. (this was up for decision for awhile). Last night, (the night after we made the final decision) Maggie kept me awake ALL night. Just like a baby. Had her days and nights mixed up. Now I’m rethinking my decision.

* I signed my son up for Pre-school this week. They say you can’t put a price on education… well, I can. The “good” school was $120/month. The “cheap” school was $55/month. We are now trying to pay for a new house. I’ll let you decide which pre-school we chose. Besides, I’m in denial that he is old enough for pre-school anyway.

* Spring has finally arrived in North Idaho. It arrived in a big way. Saturday my friend and I took our kayaks out on the lake. While out there, I was telling her that my doctor had said that the benefits of sun far outweigh the risks, as long as you are responsible and don’t get burned. Unbeknownst to us, while we were having that conversation, the sun was doing its work. We both arrived at church the next day with crispy shoulders and noses. It sort of reminded of the time that I was reading about potty training online. While I was reading, my son was standing next to me peeing on the floor. I think I might be starting to understand the concept of irony.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Romans 7:15

In Romans 7:15, the Apostle Paul says, "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do". This is the story of my life, but most recently, my weekend. I was resolved. I'm not going to do it. I have no intention of doing it. I don't want to do it. I'm not even considering doing it.....You get the point. Why then, did I do it? Why couldn't I stop myself? Why did I have a momentary lapse of my senses and convictions? This is a constant battle that wages war within our souls and why, this time, could I not stand my ground and hold true to what I knew was right?
You ask, what is this thing that got a hold of me? What could have been such a temptation? If you feel brave enough to stomach what you are about to see, click here for the answer.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Spring in Idaho

I was lying in bed yesterday morning trying to motivate myself to get up. "Get up", I said to myself. Myself said, "No".
"Come on, get up."
"Not gunna do it."
"If you get up now, you'll have time to paint your toenails so you can wear your sandals today." I coaxed. "Remember how sunny and hot and beautiful it was yesterday? You don't want to be caught with unpainted toenails in your sandals and capris do you?"
"OK," I agreed, "I'm getting up". I drug myself from the bed in anticipation of the beautiful sunny day that lay ahead of me.
At this point, my son comes running in with enthusiasm that only a 4 year old can have that early in the morning and especially considering the words that followed.... "Mommy, come look, SNOWED last night!"
I went back to bed.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

To Infinity And Beyond

Here is a question for the masses. Why will Grandparents buy things for their grandchildren that they would never in a million years let their kids have or wear? This weekend my Mom bought my son the UGLIEST pair of Buzz Lightyear sandals I have ever seen. They have glow in the dark moons, stars and space guys all over them and they light up and flash when he walks on them. They are hideous. Even Mom thought they were ugly, but still she paid money for them. Of course....Joel loves them. A mother's love only reaches so far, but I guess a Grandma's love reaches to the stars.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Super Chicken - Super Embarrassed

I usually consider myself to be a hard working individual. However, yesterday I was fooling around with one of my co-workers and we somehow got on the subject of cartoons. By the way, did I mention that catalog giant, ColdWater Creek is remodeling and moving into the building adjacent to ours? During the construction process, they are using our offices as their headquarters. My office is actually missing part of the wall and I can look through and see the construction guys. So anyway, I decided to play my favorite cartoon theme song for Kelsey, so I turned up my computer speakers as loud as they would go and played this.... Then I walked out the door for an appointment. Well, Coldwater Creek was having a big meeting and when I opened the door, there were all the construction workers AND all the executives standing in a big circle and I had to walk through the middle of them to get out the door. Yeeesh. I'll add this to my list of most embarrassing moments.
P.S. If, like me, you're a Super Chicken fan, here's a link to the theme song...

Monday, April 10, 2006

Java 4 Me

Okay, so I’ve really been wanting one of those fancy super automatic espresso machines. You know, the ones that you pour coffee beans into one container on the machine and water into another container, and basically out comes a latte worthy of competition for Starbucks. Here’s the issue. I’m a coffee lover, but it’s also pretty hard to get me to part with money...mine, at least. (I’ve made a reference or two about that on my website, Also, I would have a hard time convincing my husband that any coffee could be worth that high a price. He thinks even $1.50 for a cup of coffee is a waste of time.

Anyway, I keep looking at these machines, then looking at the price tag, then deciding I really shouldn’t. Then, I put it out of mind for awhile and then repeat the whole process again a couple of weeks later. All the while, mentioning (whining) to my husband that I would sure like to get one. Here’s the irony. After “mentioning” it enough times, he is practically begging me to buy it. It sounded something like this, “Would you just quit talking about it and go buy the stupid thing”! So I did. I may be cheap, but I know an opportunity when I see one…Just think of all the money I’m saving at Starbucks. Here’s a peek at my Capresso C1300.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

To Blog or Not To Blog?

After making my first post last week, I came to a stunning realization. I'm not sure I get this whole Blogging thing. As I read other blogs (which seem inconsequential to me) I'm not sure why I am choosing to participate. However, I feel compelled to do so. I don't get it. I think it's the same reason why people think reality T.V. is so stupid, yet will continue to watch, knowing they should (and want to) turn the channel. Hmmm....The jury is still out on this one for me.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Life in the Garage

I swore I wouldn't do it. No way. No How. I told my husband, "If we build a new house, there's NO WAY I will live in the garage while the rest of the house is being built". Famous last words. Now, regardless of the fact that I get told every day that it's the "North Idaho Way" that you live in your shop while you build your house, this does not comfort me. I'm going on 5 months of garage living and with many prayers and a little good luck, our house should be ready to move into in 3 weeks. I am defintely ready. However, my time in the garage has not gone without some merit. Here are the top 10 things I have learned from Life in the Garage.

10. Propane fumes aren't really THAT bad for you.
9. You can only eat so much Top Ramen.
8. Bunk Beds are not for the faint of heart.
7. Having mental breakdowns doesn't exactly mean you're crazy.
6. A $500 espresso machine does not a kitchen make.
5. The phrase "There's no place like home" has new meaning in my life.
4. They can hook up a satellite dish pretty much anywhere.
3. 4 Year olds have no problem whatsoever staying up until 10pm.
2. If you cram everything you own into a 50 square foot space, you don't even notice all the dirt.

And the number one thing I've learned from Garage Living is:

Being with your family really is the most important thing.


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