Moving Day!!!

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Hello to my few and faithful followers! I know it has been awhile since I last posted, summer was busy and I had to take a little break from writing. BUT while I was away, I have been working on a new blog idea. As much as I love Johnson Party of 5, I have been wanting to change our name. When we first began this blog we were Johnson Party of 4 and then grew and hopefully we will keep growing. So, with the help of my sweet and tech-savvy husband, we have created a new blog with a new name with some new ideas.  Please click on over and check it out! You know you are curious...

Butterflies and Blessings

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I still remember the moment and the feeling like it happened yesterday.  I had been driving all day from my home in NC to my "home away from home" Steubenville. It was a sunny and very hot June day and the excited butterflies were fighting the nervous knots in my stomach the entire drive. I was going up for a conference and to visit friends, well, one friend in particular, that I didn't just want to be friends with.  Since our sophomore Spring semester had ended, we had talked on the phone a few times. Dan would call about once a week, and oh how I looked forward to those phone calls. And then there I was, driving up to see him, little did I know it would be my last "first date" ever. I remember driving up to his house on Pennsylvania Ave, he had just gotten off work from his landscaping job. He was very dirty and sweaty, with his hat on backwards...and he looked good.  The butterflies and knots were still at war and I was so happy to see him.

I was thinking about this memory today because I have that feeling once again. Dan has been gone for the last 12 days, leading a pilgrimage to Poland.  I was reflecting on how amazing it is that our first date was 8 years ago. What a blessed 8 years we have had together and those butterflies from excitement have not gone away, but have multiplied. 

 You might be wondering why he was in Poland... Dan felt a calling or a desire to start a pilgrimage that can be offered in our area to go to Poland and walk in the footsteps of Blessed John Paul II and to also have a deeper understanding of God's Mercy. We both were able to go at different times when we were in college and we both loved the trip and the beautiful country. So he pursued this idea and with the help of a wonderful priest from our archdiocese (who is from Poland), they took 10 lucky pilgrims for this first pilgrimage.  I felt united in my husband's sacrifices, because I knew that even though he enjoyed being there, his heart ached for us to be there with him. I definitely felt the graces that were coming from the trip and I loved hearing the wonderful stories while he was there. 

So 12 days with 3 kids 5 and under and a husband in another country...what does a mommy do??

Have lots of coffee and chocolate, pray tons, clean the entire house and organize as much as possible like a maniac (its amazing how time flies by when you do this) and depend on family and friends. Over the past week and a half I have realized even more how blessed we are in our little community. While Dan was having adventures, we were too, thanks to my friends letting me invite ourselves over to their houses and pools! :)

And yes there were many trying moments, like when Joshua wouldn't go to sleep until 11:47 pm and then Kolbe woke up at 3:13am and then we were up at 5...or the rain storms driving home from one of our adventures and we had to pull of the road and miss Dan's daily phone call...and so on.  But with God's grace, and a few tears, and a few too many bowls of ice cream, and band-aids and homemade casts for bug bites, and maybe a couple of more tears with more ice cream, we have made it through and now he is home!! Thanks again to all of those who helped us and prayed for us! We are very grateful.

I picked him up from the airport last night at 10:30 (thanks Catie for staying at the house!) and the kids were beyond excited to wake up and tackle him this morning.

My husband is now back to work, the kids are enjoying their little presents, and I am sipping my second cup of coffee. Life is good and quite calm...for the moment...but I will take it! 

6 Years

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Oh wait, I have a blog?.....I am back and life is good. 

This past Sunday, Dan and I celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary! Which means 6 years ago today I was lounging on the beach in Mexico, sipping a yummy beverage with my groom...that sounds nice, doesn't it? It was.

But you want to know what else is nice? (Even though I don't always remember this) I am now sitting on the couch, listening to my 5 year old and 3 year old bond over ice cream, my almost 1 year old is on his feet, proudly pushing around his walker, and I am listening to my husband practice guitar for Mass this Sunday. It is very nice. And I am so grateful for the blessings of our marriage! And hopefully one day my hubby and I will be able to get away and lounge quietly by the beach again... But for now I am content with a fun dinner date:

 In honor of this 6 year celebration (and my return to blogging) I am posting a video of our pretty sweet first dance. Watch and enjoy if you is hot hot hot.

Our First Dance from Daniel Johnson on Vimeo.

A Family Adventure


Some things we learned on our weekend getaway with 3 kids, 5 and under. Very intriguing, I know.

1.  Ice cream for lunch? Yes, please.

Last Friday we told the kids we were going to the beach-which was a little mean because we didn't tell them that first we had to drive almost 4 hours, then daddy had his meeting, and after the meeting we would go to the hotel.  We also didn't tell them that it would be pouring down rain. So after we dropped off Dan at the church, I promised them Chickfila complete with playground. But then to my complete shock, the Chickfila in Panama City was Drive-Thru only!!! Total bummer. So off we went to McDonald's (which also did not have playground) so.... hot fudge sundaes were ordered for all.

2. Welcome Bikers! (And minivans...)

After we finished lunch, Dan called and said he would be a few more hours, so we drove to the hotel to check-in. As we were driving closer to the beach, we noticed that we were surrounded by the thundering sound of motorcycles- I came to realize that it is Bike Week in Panama City Beach.  Kolbe was thrilled!  And "Born to be wild" became our weekend theme song.

3.  Indigestion is inevitable.

Obvious one, but eating every meal out was exhausting. During two of the meals Kolbe had potty accidents. And during every meal we felt like we were at a circus. But kids are kids and we made it through. barely. ;)


4. Coffee is necessary. Maybe multiple cups.


I was close to tears when we walked outside Saturday morning and it was still cold and rainy. But a delicious breakfast and warm coffee helped a lot.

5. It is possible to still have fun at the beach when it rains.

Fun times at Gulf World!

6.  Emma's new dream is to be a dolphin trainer.

Now I know that many go through the "I want to swim with dolphins" stage. But trust me, she is different, I mean she is almost part mermaid herself:

7. The sun will come out tomorrow (or in the afternoon).

8. One free drink courtesy of the hotel is always appreciated.

9. We love our universal Church!

On Sunday, we headed north to Eufaula, Al (About a 3 hour drive) for Mass and for the parish's Family Day. We were invited by the pastor and it was so fun to go be a part of their community for the afternoon.

Our kids had so much fun with the other kids. Emma even got to play musical chairs with Buckaroo Bear (who was actually Fr. Shoemaker and he was promoting their vacation bible school! The kids loved him!)

And after a fun afternoon, we made the 4 hour drive home...I think we had to stop only 6 times...

10. So Worth it.

Traveling with kids is definitely not relaxing. But struggling through the indigestion at meals, the whining in the car, and the tears when they fall or are tired, is so worth it for the all of the smiles and memories we created as a family.

Maybe next time we will be even more adventurous and attempt a 4 day vacation...Born to be Wild... :)

5 Favorites


Joining Moxie Wife for 5 Favorites!

Fresh Flowers

If I could, I would have a vase of beautiful roses in my kitchen all of the time.  When I walk in my kitchen and it is an absolute wreck, but then in the midst of the darkness and clutter, there is a vase of flowers, everything would be alright.... 

 Family Weekend Getaway. Who doesn't love that?! Dan has a meeting on Friday in Panama City Beach and we are going with him! Ocean, sand, pool, and sunscreen, here we come!

A phone call from a dear friend.

I am awful about making phone calls, which I know I need to work on. But I got a call from this girl the other night and it was such a gift. 

Matt Maher's new album. Love it.

Our porch. 

Dan built our patio last year and we recently decided to screen it in. It is awesome! We are now outside all of the time. Definitely a new fav.

Now click on over to see more! 

Keeping it Real

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Don't worry, because I know you have been...this Johnson Party is alive and well. Last week Dan was in St. Louis for a couple of nights and then in Montgomery.  On the nights he was home we took care of kids with the stomach bug. He was sooo glad he didn't miss out on that. We were also in charge of a ministry event on Saturday and with lots of help, especially from my family, it was great!

The ministry event we planned was a mother and daughter tea that was co-sponsored by Dan's office and a local parish. It was an event for girls 10-12 and the point of the tea was to talk to them and their moms about God's plan for growing up and becoming women and how being a woman is unique and beautiful.  Wonderful ministry...but Mrs. Shy One over here had to give the main talk, because obviously Dan couldn't....and it was probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Harder than birthing a 10 lb 6 oz baby with zero epidural. And no, I am not exaggerating.  I was so thrilled when it was over and thanks to the Holy Spirit I think it went pretty well.  And because God seems to enjoy pulling us out of our comfort zones, I get to give this talk again on Thursday. So pumped.

Enough about me, the kids are much more interesting:

While at my parents house Emma asked if she could bring this life jacket home so she could wear it to school. I won that conversation...

But lost this one...This is what Emma wore to school yesterday:

Yep, it is her "cast" because she had a "scrape" on her knee....I am dreaming of a white and green uniform...
When I picked her up from school, the "cast" was in her backpack. Her teacher was laughing because once Emma was around her friends she was healed of  her broken scrape. That and she couldn't bend her knee when sitting at her desk.

 Kolbe tried to wear this to bed last night:

He eventually realized that it might not be that comfortable for sleeping.

Joshua has not gotten into wearing safety gear yet, although now that he is close to walking, it might not be a bad idea! His favorite place to be is in his highchair. YUM.

89.6% of the time these three are making messes and definitely keeping us on our toes...and then there are sweet moments like this:

They DO love each other!!  ;)

It's Grammy's Birthday!

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Today is a special day! 
Today is Grammy's birthday!

Emma Rose loves Grammy because:
"She gives us the best presents and sends me letters.
She has a cat named biscuit.
She lets us play with the barn
and she gives us big hugs!"

Kolbe loves Grammy because:
"She lives with Papa
and she gives us mail,
because we play swords at her house too."

Joshua loves Grammy's hugs and kisses!

We love you Grammy and wish we could spend the day with you and Papa!