to have Courage....In Family Life, In Spirituality, In Health, In Living Simply

I'm on a journey...... as we all are. Learning, remembering, re-discovering about health, spirituality, relationships, emotions and the mind.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Snow is Almost Gone

Yesterday it rained so almost all the snow is gone.

I admit that I am not a lover of the snow.  I think it's beautiful.  Its quiet and encourages snuggling and hot drinks and reading a good book.  But I don't like driving in it.  And most of all I hate the time spent dressing the Little People up in it for half an hour for them to frolic for 10 minutes and then drown me in puddles of wet attire.  This is not a Happy Time for me.  Sour-puss, I know.

Anyways, we made it thru this week and got some nice photos to share.  So, here's the kiddos enjoying themselves (while mama enjoyed the fireplace for a moment or two!)








This was a beautiful, peaceful sunrise the other morning.  I can appreciate the beauty.  Just not the cold.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mitchell's Leather Work


Making Journals, wallets, coin cases.
With all the females in our household, Mitchell is the one we buy the used leather purses for!!
He's been doing an awesome job creating these projects.  And has fun, to boot!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Makes My Heart Sing

He's not actually singing here, but he loves to sing.  His favourite song is "Twinke, Twinkle", and I love how sweetly this Little Lover sings it.

But can't you just picture him singing as an older gentleman in the back row of a choir?!!

So sweet.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I am Featured

I am featured over @ Everyday Minimalist.  Should be viewable at this link.

Everyday Minimalist writes a great blog that I follow.  Serena blogs about how being minimalist isn't about not owning anything, but about owning just what pertains to her living the life she wants, according to her own needs and desires.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Peaceful Persona

Centenarians, those who live more than 100 years, have one thing in common it seems, all over the world.  They have an ability to maintain a peaceful persona, which enables them to outlive many people they love and live in community with.


The brain and our attitude are more powerful than most of us believe, or live as if we believe.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

For Anders

Happy Birthday, 5 Year Old!!We finally got to Anders' birthday, and then Laars is complaining that it isn't his today.  Anyways, we were treated to a visit by Gramma S, and my aunty Lorna (from Saskatchewan).  The children loved having them around because they were fun, interested in the children's activities and successes, and brought lots of sugar!

Anders of course was interested in gifts and food.  He picked pizza for his Birthday meal, which we haven't eaten in months so it was a real hit with everybody.  Us bigger people especially liked the Portobello mushrooms with taco seasoning to make a Taco Pizza.

He received Cars stickers, and an altered shirt.

The checkered shirt I altered from a size 7/8 to fit Anders whose a size 5.  When he opened the gift he said "Oh, that shirt" and tossed it away.  But when I convinced him that it would fit him, he tried it on and is now thrilled that he has another CowBoy shirt to wear.
And he got a bandana, the green one in the top photo.  Plus we got him new jammies that he's been wanting for a long while since he out-grew the old ones.

And celebrated with ice cream sundaes, as was his choice. 
Happy Day for a Happy Boy.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lentil Quinoa Stew

Danaka made this Lentil Quinoa Stew  for lunch and it was really wholesome and tasty. I thought Anders might not like it because there were loads of lentils, but he did! It was gobbled up with happy faces and resulted in full tummies.



Give it a try. We doubled the recipe and just cooked it on the stove with our Dutch Oven as we don't own a slow-cooker. It worked just fine, but looked thicker--less broth--than the picture above.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Money on Fast Foods

"Americans now spend more money on fast food than on higher education, personal computers, computer software, or new cars."

~ Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day at Our House

(Not at all as you would likely expect.)

Today was Everette's and my 25th Wedding Anniversary.  (We don't recommend getting married on Valentine's day.  We'd marry each other over again, but we wouldn't choose Valentine's Day to do it.  But that's beside the point.)

We spent yesterday together in Victoria, window-shopping, checking out new art supply stores, having lunch, taking in Tea-tasting at Silk Road, buying our family a tea set. ( Tea is our new education.  We never liked 'tea' until last month when we actually tried the Real McCoy, and now we are tea drinkers.  So it was a treat to spend more than an hour tasting and smelling and learning about tea yesterday. Then when we returned home we sipped and sampled tea with the children on the living room floor, sitting around flickering candles. )

Today we spent our actual anniversary here at home with our children.  A quiet, lazy day of togetherness.  Sharing, playing, creating, dancing, eating, working together.  A lovely family day.  And I gave my Valentine a surprise.



I must admit, I gave myself a bit of a surprise too.
After 25 years & 14 pregnancies (includes losses which still put weight on me!)
I'm up 14 pounds and still fit in the dress!  
I think that's pretty darn Good!!

 The satin needs a good ironing job, but this was impromptu so it didn't get done, and got shoved back in a sack in storage afterwards, so what would be the point.  Besides, I'm allergic to ironing!


To say that the children enjoyed seeing mommy in her wedding dress is to make an understatement.  Over and over again the younger girls pampered me, fixing my train, dancing around me, wishing they could be my Flower Girls.  They were so delighted.

Tonight we spent the evening trying to figure out our Jive steps for dance class.  And we got Layne and Mitchell learning some steps, too.  There was laughter, and some bouncing like bunnies instead of stepping like dancers, but it was all so enjoyable.

And then there was the cuddles with the children as we watched documentaries and a Tinker-bell movie.

We ended it with lighting sparklers on the back patio, sending light into the darkness.  I hope that our Love gives some light into the darkness.

Being together, its been an absolutely enjoyable Valentine's Day, and a great celebration of our commitment to One Another.  Here's to another 25 years.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sewing for Gaelyn

Maret wanted to get creative, and I joined in for the fun.  We raided the closets for outgrown clothes.  Here was a dress for summer that's already getting short and it isn't the right season to be wearing it.  Gaelyn gave us permission to attack it.
So, we cut off the flounce.  Sewed up the bottom of the now-top.
Then, we made lined-pants out of white receiving blankets, attached the flounce from the dress to make ruffles at the bottom of the pant legs and ended up with this

It cost us $0.50 for the elastic for the waist, and the rest was all recycled.
But the Smile is Original.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

What Happens When the Guard Falls Off

DIY haircut when the guard falls off!
Oopps!!

Resulted in an 1/8 inch cut,
a tad cold for wintertime.
But I think my hubby
is so handsome with 
a buzz cut.
So, I don't see it
as a mistake.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Another Birthday at Our House

Winter is the season for these Johnsons to be celebrating birthdays.  Out of the eleven of us, 8 of us celebrate birthdays (and our Anny) between the last days of Nov and the first half of March.

And so Today is Gaelyn's turn!!

Funny to see Gaelyn holding her hands out like this at our meal's Blessing.  I think she's seen the movie "Eat, Pray, Love" a bit much!

Here the girls are singing "Our God is an Awesome God"

Opening gifts.  She's wearing a shirt I bought her earlier this week at Sally Ann and I think it suits her so well.  She wanted to wear it for her Birthday outfit.

When Rauchelle was here over the weekend she got the children into loving bandanas even more, so Gaelyn was thrilled to get her own.

I'll share more about this outfit later.  Just say that Maret sewed it.

I took six of the children to the school playground because.....that's what they love to do.  Here, Gaelyn is Frozen, waiting for somebody to come and Unfreeze her.

Laars is pointing out the moon in the sky.

Anders is frozen in space.

Doesn't she look like a Happy Birthday Girl?!

Toveli pushing Laars.  Love the rosy cheeks.

Sweet Maret

Happy Birthday Gaeyney-Pooh!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Weigh Your Thoughts

I'm reading 'Soul-Full Eating' by Maureen Whitehouse.  Working through this 400+ page book slowly as I have much to think about.  It fits nicely with my Word for 2011, Be Mindful.

Her chapter on "Weigh Your Thoughts" starts with Galatians 6:7, 'As ye sow, so shall ye reap.'

"The most powerful way to affect your outer world is to be mindful of your inner world.  Your mind is like a field into which you can plant any seed and it will grow.  That is why it is of utmost importance that you notice what kinds of thoughts you consistently think and then weigh them to see if they are life-seed-thoughts of compassion, joy, accomplishment, acceptance and love, those things will appear in your life abundantly.  Conversely, if you choose to plant a briar patch of negative, doubtful and fearful thoughts, they too will grow.  Choose wisely. "

image from Garden Web World


It reminds me of scripture in Deuteronomy where God says "I put before you Life and Death, Blessings and Curses.  Choose Life, that you and your children may live."

We have choices.

Are you Choosing Life???

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sweeping Strokes

Danaka's "Window"

Gaelyn's "Sea Animals"

Danaka's "Art of Science"

Mitchell's "Ancient Scripts" (Viking Ruens, Hebrew, & Hieroglyphs)


Anders' "Animal Letters"

Gaelyn's "Animal Letters"


Maret's "Run Away Spunky" book

Spunky the cat in a rain storm

the proud author and painter, Maret

Monday, February 7, 2011

Featured on Miss Minimalist

Francine writes a wonderful blog as Miss Minimalist, and on Monday's she's been running a series where she features a reader of hers and their own personal journey of Minimalism.

Today, she's featured Moi!

So go on over and see the post, and be sure to check out other posts.  She has a wealth of information to share.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Family Fun

Rauchelle caught the train down to spend the weekend with the family to celebrate my birthday.  Its a challenge for her to find the time from work to get down to our place via the train, but it beats the bus!!She treated me to beautiful bag of wholesome, natural goodies in a great natural fabric bag with says about 'A Wise Woman......'  I was a bit giddy opening the packages as they were daintily wrapped, and we aren't big on Gift Giving.  I think Rauchelle had as much fun watching me open it as she had shopping for it!


 Then....what Mama wanted to do was for the Family to go out for a walk together.  I see this hill from the children's bedrooms and I was curious as to what was up there.  So, the rain had stopped and we trekked out.
Toveli found a four-leaf clover.

Rauchelle had brought 
bandana's for Maret and Mitchell, and was wearing some herself, but 'Jesse' was feeling left out so he mooched one off of Rauchelle to be a Bandit.

Always somewhere's new to climb and conquer.

Rauchelle is always up to fun and a challenge. 
 She did stand on this and roll it.  This is where she fell off.

Two Buds at the Top

We found a water reserve at the top of the hill, and it had a ladder..........so of course we had to climb it.  Only of course, the bottom had a metal cover to discourage climbers, but we got over that, one way or other.

The littles climbed up the backside, squished between the ladder and wall.


Evaluating how much farther he had to climb.
He got right up to the top!

Even Mama did it!

There's most of us, at the top.


Rauchelle and Toveli

Taking a leap of faith.

Thanks, family, for making my day a special, love-filled one!  I am Blessed.