Saturday, June 11, 2011

Let The Summer Games Begin!

Ok, I've got Kings of Leon playing and my french press coffee in hand, so it must be time to blog. Because I am such a Hipster. Wait, are we over Kings of Leon because they are too mainstream now?? Does this lower my Hipster status? Whatever, I am cool! I'm a cool 30 year old mother of 4 gosh darn it. You all think cool thoughts about me as you read this blog all about my jewel of a daughter Chloe Ava.

As most of you know by now, we are at baseball/t-ball games 4 days a week between Peyton and Chloe. Chloe has games Mondays and Wednesdays. She is my best friend, and she reminds me of this quite often. Look at her! Is this not the cutest little thing ever? This picture was taken at her first T-ball practice. I told her even if T-ball wasn't her thing, at least she looked amazing! All color coordinated in her pink and black.

Anyways, she loves T-ball as it were and it makes me laugh a little because I was certain sports would not be her thing. I mean we are best friends here, she is supposed to be all dancey-dancey like her Mama.

I would like to introduce you to team Star Wars. Chloe is standing there next to her bestie Taylor. They both wanted to be named the Mustangs but all the boys put a veto on that one. Thank you boys for being such meanies! The Star Wars played against the Fire Balls on Monday. It was an Epic battle of the Galaxies.

After Chloe got over the confusion of realizing she was right handed unlike her brother, she got the hang of hitting the ball. She had watched Peyton so much, that she kept trying to bat left handed and even told the photographer taking team photos that she was left handed. Thats what happens when you work constantly with one child and not the other. She hits most times off the coaches pitches and not the Tee. (which surprised the heck outta me!)

She gets plenty of coaching from her older brother Peyton. He loves cheering her on, a complete, lovely change from the constant fighting that goes on between them. Its actually brought them a lot closer. I'm hoping we only have 1 year of T-ball because going from Peyton's Jr Midgets to Chloe's T-ball makes me want to bang my head into a wall. Each team gets to go through the entire line up. Twice. Its like the never ending game.
Its worth it though to watch Chloe enjoy herself out there. How did she get 6 1/2 already? Ugh my beautiful baby, stop growing!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Vegetannual

The what?? Ok, so it sounds weird but I found this very helpful in my Hippie Revolution. In Barbara Kingsolver's book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, she had this diagram to illustrate when we should be eating what vegetables. (I would really love one for fruit as well, but I'm just going with this one for now) This I believe is a baby step I can follow along with easily until I have an amazing garden growing. I can easily go to the many Farmer's Markets in Washington County and be able to buy what is in season. The Farmer's Markets are great too because alot of them have vendors that don't use pesticides.

Now I was on website yesterday, as always, and I saw her post on making her own pumpkin puree and freezing it. The post was so helpful and inspiring. I love that she uses so many pictures because I am such a visual learner! Anyways, come October we are going to have a Pumpkin Puree Par-tay. And it will be fabulous.

Baby steps are going to be very important on this journey of mine. That and not judging myself too harshly! My first goal when my revolution started was to try and control the foods I put into my kids mouths as best as I could. The easiest thing I could do to start toward change, was cook as much food from scratch as I could. That wasn't hard, and I felt like things were heading in the right direction. To date, I've kept that up and I've found some really great new recipes along the way. As well as a great sense of accomplishment when I make something that I thought was way beyond my skill level! Its like playing Sims! I don't have the extra money right now to buy a whole grass fed cow, or buy my own pig. My backyard won't accommodate a chicken coop, and I think my neighbors would complain. Those are goals and they will happen, but for now I am taking pride in the small things that we are doing.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Rosie's Gone Farmgirl Hippie

Some of you know that as of late I have become a little bit of a hippie. Don't worry, I still shave my often as possible. I've done some really great reading and watched some very eye opening documentaries. I recommend reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and then watching the documentary Food, Inc. (Its on Netflix) They go hand in hand, and at first are overwhelming, but if you take things in baby steps it will be easy. This is what I have learned:

1. We don't work hard at ANYTHING! I'm lazy. More so than any of you. I know this to be fact. We were made to search and scavage for our food, work hard and plan ahead, prepare. The simple fact is, we don't. We can walk to the pantry and pull out any boxed pasta mix that doesn't ever expire and serve it to our growing babes. Weird.

2. Old School Christian thinking: If its in a documentary then its not true...only propaganda made by hippies. Why is it that as Christians many people dig their heels in at any thought process that strays from what we were taught? How could the FDA allow us to eat anything that would make us sick, cause cancer or early onset puberty?? They just wouldn't. Right. (I'm getting really preachy now...sorry!) Anyways, I sat down the other day and read Proverbs 31. Nooooo! Gets me every time! The Wife of Noble mean I really need to get up before the sunrises?? This stuff isn't new. God meant for us to be planning, preparing and working for our food and feeding our children. I don't think he meant boxed pasta when he said she provides food for her children. Just a thought.

3. Its so overwhelming I don't know where to start! And have I already ruined my children? (Peyton has signs of Early Onset Puberty) I have all this information now, what the heck am I going to do?? Well do more research I guess. Look at what fruits and Veggies grow naturally in Oregon and in what season. Learn the art of canning...a lost art really. Plant what I can in my small backyard. Find farm fresh eggs...easy to do in Banks.
Well while I was knee deep in this hippie revolution. I got invited to a Farmgirl Sisterhood meeting. Reading the flier I was stoked! 1st off I noticed that I had to wear an apron to the meeting. 2nd I could earn badges like a girl scout for things like sewing, being good neighbors, farming, ect. 3rd by earning the badges I could learn things I wanted to learn anyways. Things I want my daughters to know. I have to sew a Bakeover Takeover and fill it with homebake goodies and take it to a new neighbor. (Bre Vandecamp style) I love it though! Look it up if you want, the website is and it has all the info. It was started by a woman named MaryJane and she believes all woman should wear an apron at all times. We should all turn off the TV, get off the computer (I'm trying!), put down our cell phones and go outside and get our hands dirty.

This is right up my alley right now! I'm about to move out to the forest, and build a farm out of the trees. I'm sort of kidding. Anyways, I hope you all know I am NOT preaching here! This is more of an inspirational pep talk to myself, trying to remind myself of what I have learned and what I need to do. Baby steps.

This is my Mom, Chloe and Me at our first meeting

Another website that I love right now is , I know many of you frequent this site already, but I have just discovered it. I have made so many of her recipes in the last 3 weeks and I'm pretty sure Aaron loves her too. Although we have both gained about 5 pounds since the discovery of her site!

I am going to attempting my first badge this week in sewing. If anyone wants to join me, let me know. It will be in Stitching and Crafting and we have to sew half an apron for the beginner level and go from there! I will let you know how it goes...I am also letting Chloe make on because she can earn badges too. Although she is a Young Cultivator not a Farmgirl like her Mama! Happy Wednesday to you all!!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mama of 4

When Aaron and I first started dating, we always said we wanted 4 children. That number drastically dropped after were were wed and actually had a baby. One was sounding fantastic to me at that point. But as I got things down, I started getting that ache for a newborn. So we had another. For a while 2 was amazing, but maybe too easy.

So hey, why not go for a third. I push these things out in like 3.2 seconds, no biggie. The Lord bestowed upon us a lovely little creature named Stella Rose Johns. Whom I love. And I'm sure many people wonder why. She is so full of personality, its hard to contain in that little body. Stella knows what she wants, and boy is she going to get it. At whatever cost. Not many people get to see the funny side of Stella. She is a complete ham and makes us all laugh constantly. I just know I am in trouble. That's all I can say.

Luckily for us when Aaron so rudely got me pregnant for the 4th time, the Lord had mercy upon me and delivered little Harlow Evie girl. Otherwise known as the non-baby. She never make a sound. Ever. She just sits next to her Mama and takes the world in, with her toothy smile. Harlow basically sat on my hip all dance team season and helped me coach. She is just a joy. Pure and simple.

Helping me raise these two babes are my older two babes. (And one amazing Husband) Chloe has always been motherly, and pretty much my right hand since her birth. She helps me, grabs things when she knows I will need them, feeds Harlow, ect. I love her and everyone knows this to be true.

What gets me every time though, is my rough and tumble boy loving his baby sisters. He walks in my house after school all loud and unruly, telling me about his day and that there are about 50 boys outside that are going to play football for a while, so could I feed him a big snack so he can get out there already. Then seeing Harlow he kneels down next to her ever so carefully, grabs her little hand and puts his face to her and so quietly say, "How's my baby? Do you love your Bubba? Your Bubba loves you.". Or him giving into the demands of Stella and giving piggy back rides for a half hour until his little scrawny body is on the edge of exhaustion. We went to eat lunch with him at school the other day, and these girls that like him (whatever!), sat across from us. As they watched him interact with Stella and Harlow, one leans over to the other and says, "He's so good with his Sisters", like this is a marriageable quality or something!

I could blog all night about the different dynamics between my kids, and the joy it brings me. I won't...this is already long. I just had to share some thoughts on these little kids that I love. I can't wait to see how each one of their relationships grow!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New Traditions

Ok, I haven't blogged in like 10 years, but I am going to try before motherly duties call me elsewhere. As you know I birthed my 4th and final child on July 8th this year. Our house is crazy and chaotic but I LOVE it! When it gets hard, I just think forward 15-20 years from now when my house will be full at thanksgiving of all my kids and grandkids. (In these dreams I'm still in my 20's somehow.)

Anyways this Thanksgiving, Aaron and I decided to stay at home and just enjoy our family. Normally we run all over Washington County trying to please all our families and it takes a toll on us and our kids. We are completely exhausted from hauling kids everywhere and trying to keep them from getting in trouble. We never just get to enjoy a holiday. We invited all our families to come to our house if they wanted to and Chloe and I started preparing our menu. I was so excited to make new traditions with our kids! Chloe had such a blast helping me cook, and she did such a great job. We made a turkey of course, mashed potatoes and our first attempt at real gravy (it was delicious, I found a great recipe), green beans with onions and bacon, sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie with real whipped cream. We did good. Hopefully next year Stella can help us out too. I love the thought of having these little partners in my kitchen for years to come.
Aaron and I thought long and hard about what we wanted our ideal Thanksgiving to look like. We knew we wanted to teach the kids that we have so much to be thankful for, we wanted it to be fun and we wanted to exercise after we ate. So before we ate, we all went around the table and shared what we were thankful for this year. It was so precious to hear their little thoughts! After dinner we went out to the new Banks trail head and walked for an hour, racing each other and looking for animals. It was really refreshing and we felt so much better about ourselves afterwards. Finally we went home and made turkeys our of lunch sacks. This was a project I did back in 2nd grade and loved. The kids did such a great job and were very creative. Peyton went above and beyond and made a beak and all sorts of extras.

The only visitors we had were my Gramma Peggy and her husband Jim. They brought presents for the kids and visited for a while. They were tired though from their long day of visiting family. It was nice to NOT be tired on a Thanksgiving evening!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ok Jill, you asked for it!!

You said I wasn't blogging, so I am going to blog about your favorite thing. Are you ready?? I'm going to blog about my dance team days. Oh yes, I can hear you sighing and rolling your eyes at me. Whatever. You must sit and read about me and all my glory!

It all takes place in a small town
called Banks, yes my beloved Banks. I moved there in the 8th grade, just like my Dad had back in the 70's. I was 13, you know all knees and elbows trying to appear cool, yet being soooo insecure!
I was flat as a pancake, luckily I had a very clear complextion and an amazing head of curly hair. (It was nice, even if I loathed it at times) As luck would have it, there weren't too many new girls that moved to Banks. And as it were, I wasn't covered in warts or have missing teeth, so I was deemed cool. I even got a boyfriend...his name was Dusty Kalhar. I was going to marry him after knowing him for 2 weeks. Anyway, that is a different blog. I quickly became best friends with a girl name Marissa Dunthorn. We were inseparable, which was nice going into my Freshman year walking through the halls with all the upper classmen! She brought me a flyer one day and handed it to me. "We're going to tryout for dance team next week.", she told me. I looked the flyer over and saw that it was going to cost $700 in the first year, and there was a place for my Mom to sign. At this time my parents were on staff at the church, and we were dirt poor. I was so nervous taking the paper to my Mom, but much to my surprise she didn't even bat an eyelash as she signed it. I will always love her for that. She never let me know how much it took out of them to keep me dancing.
Me with the other Captains my Senior year
Now, the day of tryouts I was all knees and elbows, and of course no boobs still. Somehow by the grace of God, my uncoordinated body was accepted onto the Banks Lady Braves dance team. (Of course I didn't take into account that only 14 girls tryout and they need more bodies!) Quickly after tryouts I learned that my best friend Marissa Dunthorn had ditched me and moved to Texas with her Mom. I cried for an entire dance practice, but got over it....and quiclkly found a new best friend.
This is not my new best friend, this is Laura, a friend of convience. Moving on, for those of you that don't know. Dance starts in July with dance camp, then we have daily doubles, then football season where we would dance at every half time. Then we go into competions about 2 a month, they last an entire Saturday. (If you ever get a chance to watch one, do they are fun.) Then we have basketball season we dance at halftimes, and finally we have state that ends in March. It pretty much consumes your life. Now my first year, we dance at State to the Beatles. It was pretty much my obsession at that time, I couldn't have been happier. The State Championships are held in the Memorial Coliseum. We perform our routine, which is 6 minutes long, on the first night. If the teams routine scores high enough, you get to return the second night and perform it again. The second night after all the scores are tabulated, the winners are announced. They announce the State Champion by playing the music of the team that won. Our music opened with Ed Sullivan announcing "Ladies and Gentlemen, The Beatles!", the famous clip with girls screaming in the back ground. Now imagine all 13 girls huddled together sitting on the Memorial Coliseum floor holding hands and our breath! And of course you know how it goes! WE hear that clip and all scream like little school girls! State Champions!! Woot Woot!

My Junior year after dancing at a Basketball game
Now we got to do that twice, because my Junior year we also were State Champions. I was spoiled and blessed! Dance Team was my life...well High School was. I loved every minute of it.
Me and the other captains accepting our 2nd place trophy...I'm in the red wig!

Now my Senior year, by some glitch we got second place. (Insert Wah-Wah here) We should have gotten first and some months later we actually had a judge call us and tell us they made a mistake and we should have...but really what difference does that make after the fact??
This picture is one of my faves out of the millions of pictures from dance! This is me and my friend Laura after we got second place. Clearly our faces are saying, "We are smiling for the picture, but we are SO not happy!". Second is the first loser! Besides my second place finish, dance has been one of the most important parts of my life. My friends on that team are still my close friends.

Now I have been given the chance to coach the same team that I once danced for. Thats right, I am coaching the Banks Lady Braves! I cannot even express the excitement I have. I have 14 girls so far and as of yesterday I have 2 more texting me that they want to join. Seriously, the only way to communicate to these girls is via text! My thumbs are about to fall off I have been texting so much! Our first endeavor was Dance Camp, this last July. Its the same dance camp I went to when I was on the team, except this time I get to go to the coaches meetings! I'm not going to lie, I sat and giggled through the entire first coaches meeting. I felt like the little high school that snuck in! Here are 10 of my girls at camp:There you have it Jill! My Dance Team Blog, just for you. I miss you too!

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Most Magical of Nights

A long time ago in a land far far away, I had a blog. And it was forgotten about. Now I am back to this land that I love and must update all on one of the best memories that Chloe and I have made to date.

It all starts with me sitting at my friend Alisa's house casually watching the Waitress with some friends and stuffing my face full of SPK's, Swedish Fish & the most delicious brownies ever. I get a text message from my hubby asking me if I read an Email he just sent me. I had seen it, but I didn't read it since I was elbow deep in sugar. I looked at it again and saw the words "Taylor Swift" and freaked out! I knew what he had done. Chloe and I are both Taylor Swift fans. We have both her CD's in my CD changer in the car and Chloe will shamelessly yell out all her lyrics as we cruise down the road. I immediately called him and verified that he actually got them since it was the night before the concert and they sold out 3 minutes after they went on sale. He did indeed get two seats for me and Chloe in the 100 level. I was giddy, but for a quick moment panicked thinking he paid some scalper $500 for our tickets. He told me that he happened to be looking on Craigslist and saw a post that the Rose Garden had opened up the 120 section and the tickets were available for face value! I was shocked, excited and could NOT WAIT to tell Chloe.
The next day Chloe and I got all done up in our new skirt and dress and headed down Hwy 26 with Taylor Swift blaring out of the speakers.

We arrived at the Rose Garden with a hundred million teenage girls all in sun dresses and cowboy boots and long curly hair. There were Mom's with their little girls all done up in their boots and dresses too. Chloe wanted to wear her high heels because her favorite song is track 6 on the new CD, with the line, "She wears high heels, I wear sneakers...". So thats what we opted for. We were in Taylor Swift heaven! We got in our seats and anxiously awaited for the show to start.

Taylor came out and the first song she sang was track 6 from her new CD. I'm not going to lie, I got teary eyed watching the joy in Chloe's face. She was so cute! Half way through the second song, Chloe looked at me and said, "Is she real?". I just about died laughing! Chloe was the perfect concert partner, she danced and sang along...this is a picture of her on her seat dancing with Taylor in the back ground.

Now our seats were amazing, we could see her so well. About 5 songs into the show, they played a video clip on the big screen about Taylor and boys. When the lights came on we could hear her singing, but we couldn't see her. As we all looked around trying to find her, we spotted her walking down our Aisle! I couldn't believe it!
She sang a song as she walked down and then finally stopped in front of our section and played Tim McGraw. Right there, like I couldn't believe it. Chloe had her embarrassed look on her face....I'm sure most of you have seen it. She then grabbed me and asked me to take her to Taylor. If it weren't for the mob of people surrounding her, I would've. However, I think we had an awesome view! After that she returned to the stage and sang love story all done on a castle type stage, with the drummer in one of the towers and Taylor all done up in princess clothes. She ended the show with her song, "You Should've Said No" and if any of you saw her on the country music awards where she sang in the rain....that's what she did. It was awesome. After purchasing 2 Taylor Swift T-shirts and a hat just to prove we were there, Chloe and I walked hand in hand out of the Rose Garden. It was an amazing night with my Chloe girl! One we will cherish and talk about for years to come...these are the things I have been looking forward to!
Please enjoy the clips of her singing if you would like....