Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thalia starts 5th Grade

5th grade? How can that be...that Thalia is old enough to be a 5th grader?

But she is...

Her sweet mama sent me some photos of today - her first day of school.Hey there, Darlin! Your Mimi loves those clothes you have on!!!

What do you think, Blu?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I guess I'm a little behind the times...

'Google' has become a household name. I tell my students that 'Google' is both a noun and a

verb. When they ask me a question I don't know, I'll often answer them with, "Hold on, let me google it."

Actually, just this weekend when our drain at home got clogged, I told my guy I'd go 'google' it to see what they said about unglogging drains. I did, and it told us to put a cup of baking soda in the drain, then follow it with 3 cups of boiling water.

It didn't work.

I also love the different Google logos. The first one was on their page August celebrate the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first telescope! This one below was celebrating the 4th of July. Cute!
My buddy, Pamela, just told me something else about Google which I thought was amazing. When I finally remembered to tell Gabe about it tonight, he told me he had known about it for a long time... and he added, "I've known about it so long, I've forgotten about it." I realized then I was a bit behind the times.

Maybe some of you readers of the Johnston Chronicles don't know about it. So I'll broadcast it right here...

On your cell phone, put the number for Google in your contacts. It's 466-453. Yes, I know it's a digit short, but it's correct. Just put it in your cell phone.

Then send a text message... just naming a place...for example, just text the name of a restaurant. That's it, just the name, and press 'send.' In a very short time, you'll receive a text back with the address and phone number of the restaurant. I was in shock...

pretty amazing, or at least, I think so!

Saturday, August 22, 2009



This is the book I learned to read from. I remember the characters and the rhythm of the book so well. I remember being in Mrs. Bratcher's 1D class and reading this book.

In Tip, I was introduced not only to Tip the dog, but to Jack and Janet. I loved Jack and Janet, and of course, I absolutely loved Tip.

Once I had advanced beyond Tip, we were introduced to Tip and Mitten. Mitten is a kitten. Notice in Tip and Mitten how they put a little picture of the character next to what they're saying... I didn't remember that...but it's pretty cute.

I also loved Mitten...

The last in the series that I remember was The Big Show. The Big Show was about going to a circus. I was also introduced to Penny, who I think was Jack and Janet's little sister. I was so excited when I saw these three books.

As you may know, school is about to start and one of our new teachers - or new to our school - had cleaned out his old classroom and had these on a table for anyone to take. I grabbed them! It was definitely a 'blast from the past.'

Why do I put these on the blog? Well, a couple of reasons. First, I'm nostalgic...but also because when I was at Stanford (both when Lindsey had Benjamin and for my friend, Mary's daughter, Skyler), decorating the walls of the pediatric section were pages from children's books, framed. They are adorable. So... when I grabbed these books, that was my idea - to possibly take the books apart and frame some of the pages... to hang in Emerson or Benjamin's room... or maybe in Jack's room (seeing as one of the character's is Jack) or Max, who I have yet to meet... or Skyler... or Dorian... or... oh, there are so many sweetheart little people out there! Anyway, that's what I thought about... but regardless, it was heartwarming to see some of my favorite characters from first grade: Tip, Mitten, Jack, Janet, and Penny. (Actually, Penny was not one of my favorites..or maybe she was but I forgot?)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Why do I blog?

I honestly believe that my Dad is one of the main reasons I blog...

because I love to write...

and my Dad was a writer...

he enjoyed it - I enjoy it.

I saw a quote from Anais Nin which also sums up writing for me:

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.

Another reason, but totally related, is that I absolutely love my family...I love to document our lives, to share what's going on since we are so scattered around the state...and the country. I love to share our lives with those people who are our friends.

I hear about people who read this blog ... people I had no idea about. That makes me happy... a friend of mine once apologized for reading it. She said she felt she was intruding... If I didn't want others to read it, I would make it private. You're not intruding...I enjoy blogging, and I love that others enjoy reading it!

My Dad would have been my biggest reader, I'm sure!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Joshua's "NEW" car

You have to know Joshua to appreciate this post.

It's so unlike him...

and he's so excited...

about his "new" car...As you can probably tell, it's not exactly NEW... but it IS new to Joshua. I absolutely had to take pictures of this car we've heard so much about...the car Thalia does NOT like to ride in. "MIMI, it doesn't have an air conditioner OR EVEN A RADIO!"

You readers of the JohnstonChronicles have to understand that Joshua always buys the best...his cars/trucks have all been top of the line, leather, great sound systems, fancy wheels... the works...

I took a couple of photos and then Joshua said, "Jutze, you haven't taken a picture of the DENT?"

"Oops, sorry, Josh..." The Dent...

Blu begged to go for a ride... he doesn't care about the air conditioner or radio, he just enjoys Joshua's companionship...I'm not sure what Joshua told Blu, but he followed his master over to the car...hoping...hoping...
Poor Blu... :("Well, whaddaya think, Jutze? Pretty nice, eh?"

"You bet, Joshua!"Joshua...and his new car!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Little men withdrawals

I SAID I wasn't leaving our county for the rest of the summer. I said that after I came back from taking Thalia home... and that was my plan. This summer has been incredible...and incredibly busy...all good, but busy. So my plan was to spend the rest of the summer just relaxing at home.


Last Sunday morning as I opened my computer to check my email before church, there on my desktop was a photo of my two little men...and my heart started to ache for them...

It had been 6 days since I had seen Benjamin and 17 days since I'd seen Emerson...

I left Tuesday...

My first stop was to play with Emerson - and to see his mama and daddy, of course!Look what he's started doing! He probably stayed up like this for maybe 5 minutes!

Emerson also loves to look at his little hanging toys...
and brand grabbing hold of something. I was loving watching this. He would stare at that striped bar... slowly put his little hand over to it...concentrate on opening his hand and putting it around it...and then holding on!

Good job, Emerson!!! Swaddling is new to me. I don't remember doing this - or doing it as tight and calling it that. Emerson LOVES to be swaddled. His daddy knew it was time for his nap, so he swaddled his little man - who then looked up and gave his daddy a big smile - and then he went to sleep when he was put in his crib! Mimi and Emerson...Emerson with a huge smile for his mama!

After spending time with Emerson, I left to go see his cousin, Benjamin...and Benjamin's mama and daddy! He wanted to wear a baseball cap like his daddy.But then it got too hot. He was more interested in his hanging toys...just like his cousin, Emerson. Benjamin isn't grabbing for his toys yet, but this little hand will be doing it before too long. Benjamin loves to hear stories! His mama loves to read them to him, too!
Benjamin is a sleeper, and this trip, he slept a lot! Mimi and Benjamin...We put him on his tummy for some tummy time...haha! He wasn't too interested, so he just put his little head down and closed those sweet little eyes!

I was planning on leaving at about 8:30 p.m. to head back to Emerson's. Well, plans change. We took off his clothes so I could take some photos and he decided he loved this new cooler freedom. He put on a show with all his cooing and smiling...and I left after 9:30 p.m. He was loving all the kisses from his mama and daddy...

He gave me a big smile and told me to have fun with Emerson.After spending time with Benjamin, I went back to Emerson's. I got to stay home with him Friday while his mama and daddy worked. We played on the floor, we went for a walk, I read him a couple of books, he slept...I tried to swaddle him... didn't work. But I loved it all!
Emerson told me I could come keep him anytime!

I just love my little men!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Judy, Lynne, & Dustin do Europe

...with 37 high school students!

This itinerary was titled, "Experience Europe" and fortunately for me this year - with my new little men - it was only a 14 day trip. Dustin, Lynne, and I traveled together 2 summers ago when we took a group all over Australia, so we knew we'd have a great time together!

I don't usually put photos of me on the blog, partly because I don't usually have any photos of me since I'm the photographer, but the three of us documented this trip together!
Windsor Castle...the Queen's home. We knew she was home since the flag was flying above it. Unfortunately, she didn't invite us in for tea!
Standing by one of the pillars at the entrance to St. Paul's in London. This was on Sunday and we went in as they were preparing for the 11 a.m. service. Since we were there at 10 a.m., we were too early to attend the service.
At Medievel Banquet, Lynne and I had our photo made with King Henry VIII.
Our group by the Tower of London...
Lynne and I in the hats they wore within the Tower of London... a bit heavy!
with the Beefeaters!

This is a rose garden within the grounds of Warwick Castle. Most of our high schoolers weren't too interested in the roses, but Lynne and I thought they were beautiful!

Also at Warwick, we participated in sword fighting. Don't we look mean...and dangerous?

The three of us at Warwick Castle in England.

Stonehenge...what can I say? I'm in awe.

After our overnight ferry ride to France, we went to Omaha Beach. These first two photos are where guns and bunkers were located to fight off the attackers. Around the point in the background is Omaha Beach. This part of the trip was highly emotional for me. My dad was in the Battle of Normandy and at Omaha Beach - probably the bloodiest battle of WWII.

This picture below is the monument that's been placed on Omaha Beach.

Standing in the gardens - a small fraction of the gardens - of the Palace of Versailles which is outside of Paris, France.
Below, is the famous - infamous? - glass pyramid entrance to the Louve.

Lynne and I are on the top platform of the Eiffel Tower...
At Montmarte, the three of us found this little cafe and sat and shared a crepe and some espresso... We absolutely loved just sitting there, watching the people, and talking with our delegates as they would cruise by. In Brussels, Belgium, we went to Planet Chocolat... ahhh, divine Chocolate! (Yes, I know the C in Chocolate is was so .... so tastey, it deserves a capital C!)

In the Netherlands, in a little town called Edam - outside of Amsterdam, we went bike riding. I absolutely loved this... seeing the town this way... and it's what everyone does - ride bikes!
We went on a cruise on the Amstel River, which runs through Amsterdam. Dustin got some photos of Lynne and I...

It was a grand time in some magical places. Belgium and the Netherlands have to be two of my favorite places I've ever been!

As far as Dustin and Lynne... "Go Team!"