Archive for February 2011

Saturday Morning choices   2 comments

Gills Rock in winter.  Although you can hardly see it, there is open water to the north.

This is unheard of  in Gills Rock, in February, and after a bitter cold winter!  Strange!

It is a beautiful morning here is Wisconsin.  The sun is shining brightly and the gale winds have settled down slightly, which means my wind chimes are making more delightful music than the banging sounds of the last two days.

We have had a full week and although we are still waiting for all the decisions to fall into place, we are calm.

We went to our new accountant, as our previous one has retired….. and we survived.  My husband told me just this week, that one of the things that he loves about me is my ability to see the good in everything, the glass is ALWAYS full.  This does not mean I make stupid misjudgments and pretend things are OK when they are not, I am real and very honest as well.  So,  we left our tax appointment and my husband was a little dazed…..   Being self-employed always keeps tax time interesting, we never know, we just never know.   Rick left trying to claim our friend’s grandchildren as ours for more of a tax write-off!   Later when Rick came home, I pulled him aside and gave him my side of the story, the way I was looking at not only the taxes, about Randy’s surgery etc..   It is all good, God is faithful, we are well taken care of was basically my message.  Rick agreed, as I knew he already did.  He just does not want to give one dollar more than required to this government that is in place at this time.  Enough said.  He did smile and was much better after I helped him see that the glass is INDEED full!   🙂

Lesson —  We as wives, as our husband’s helpmates, need to help our guys see the big picture… lovingly and with respect!

Being Saturday we have chores to do, lots of chores, many choices.  I am glad we were created for work!

We need to pick up the house a bit, did I mention that we just took down our Christmas tree yesterday?   I was determined to leave it up until it really looked like northern Wisconsin for at least a week, but it was getting ridiculously late in the year.  My northern girl faith in Wisconsin being the land of snow diminished and so we stripped the living room of Christmas.   God is funny, tomorrow we are supposed to get 6-10 inches!   Oh well!

I have been working on a quilting project with my girls, oh wait a minute, only one girl, Melody, has shown up!  Melody and I have been working on a quilt which hopefully the other girls will also get a chance to work on.  I set up our sewing machines in the family area and have enjoyed the relaxation of sewing once again.  My family has also enjoyed seeing the sewing machine out and my proof of that is the growing pile of clothes to be mended  which are appearing on the chair next to my machine!  From the looks of it I am about 2-3 years behind on this chore.   🙂

Kristi has a huge paper due on a piece of poetry.  I enjoy seeing her work and I am going to read the poem myself and then she will tell me her thoughts for her paper, I am sure it will be interesting.

We are having friends of ours over for supper tonight.  They are from Illinois and cheered for the Packers in the Super Bowl!  That defines them as really good friends!  We will have an Italian meal and then play games and fellowship afterwards.  I enjoy having a fun evening with friends to look forward to at the end of the day.


Jazmin is embarrassed in this picture which is why she is not looking at the camera.

We came home on Tuesday to find that there were a few bites of cake missing on the uncut part of the cake.  When we asked Jazmin about it she hung her head, she was the guilty party.  At least she politely left the red candy heart decorations on the table, not the floor.  I guess there IS something that she won’t eat!


So I am off to do laundry and finish cleaning up the living room after the great Christmas take down.  I will mend clothing and work on the quilt and possible go for a walk this afternoon and then the girls and I will cook and set  the tables and help prepare for our guests.

We were hoping to head to Green Bay tomorrow after church to meet Mandy and celebrate her birthday.  This impending snow is making our plans have to be reconsidered.  The weatherman has been wrong most of this winter so I am hoping he is really off this time as well.  I want to see my girl!  Whether it snows or not we will celebrate with her over the next few days.  We delight in Mandy and how God is working in her life and we have much to celebrate.

Choosing joy because with God the cup is alway FULL!

Joyce

Posted February 19, 2011 by joyfulhouse in Door County Life, Family

Psalm 69, and the reason I trust God’s Word   Leave a comment

Barren, Icy Gills Rock

Psalm 69:1

Save me, O God!  For the waters have come up to my neck.

This is the passage that I opened to this morning.  After the last twenty four hours of trying to figure out schedules, changing plans, rearranging life and feeling complete stress about how to do it all and be where we need to be at the perfect time, at least as we perceive it, this verse summed up my life!

So when I opened God’s Word this morning and read this……. I laughed.  He knew exactly how I was feeling this morning and had the perfect Word for me.  He always does……  It gets better —

V. 13

But as for me, my prayer to You, O Lord.

At an ACCEPTABLE time, O God

in the abundance of Your steadfast love (mercy, grace and favor in Hebrew)  answer me in Your saving faithfulness.

My heart just about burst with love for God when I read this.  Yes, we have decisions to make as Rick’s brother has to have open heart surgery and we need to be here to help him and care for his needs.  We also have family in TN that need us.  We also are humans who need a break and our trips to TN are the only break we get in the year.  We need to get away!  Our taxes are also due to be filed in the next week… it goes on and on.

The ACCEPTABLE time.  I know that God will tell us how this is to all work out when He desires to let us know and it will be the acceptable time.  It might be today,……  that would be nice!   Or, it might be in a few days, but when I read this verse I knew that I was reading Truth.  God has heard my cries for wisdom over these matters and He will answer, and I can trust His answer!

V.16 –

Answer me O Lord, for Your steadfast love is good, according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, turn to me.

Hide not Your face from me, Draw near to my soul

God’s love is GOOD!  He cares about our concerns today, He cares about your concerns today.  We cannot measure our concerns as great or small.  Our heavenly Father is all about our having relationship with Him and that means sharing it all with Him.   He knows anyway   🙂

V. 30 —

I will praise the name of God with a song

I will magnify Him with thanksgiving

This will please the Lord!

You who seek God, Let your heart revive

for the Lord hears the needy and does not despise

His own people.

Last night I went to lead the worship practice at church.  I love to worship God and I need to make music in honor of Him.   It was not an easy practice due to our service being in our gym while our sanctuary is being worked on, the sound was dead and the tech things were messed up.

But,  my heart was ready to worship and through the worship I praised His name, not because I had an answer to our stresses….. I don’t…….. remember!

I praise Him because He is the source of my joy

He is my rock which never moves

He is my Deliverer

He is my Lord

I will praise Him!

 

He met with me this morning through His Word, He has calmed and encouraged me.  O How I Praise Him!

He always speaks Truth to me when I go to His Word

That is why I trust God’s Word,  it never fails!

Blessed

Joyce

Posted February 17, 2011 by joyfulhouse in Around the house, Family, Spiritual Life

Strange Days, Beautiful Moments   Leave a comment

We had such a wonderful weekend with all of our children around us, maybe that is why the last two days have been a little shocking to us!   On Sunday. Annie was picked up in Milwaukee by the Orrick family so that she could go with them to the Wisconsin Dells for a couple days of fun.  Kristi moved into the Orrick’s house on Sunday night as she had agreed to house-sit for them.  Melody joined her Sunday night so that she did not have to be in the house alone the first night, and Melody is wonderful with dogs so she helped with that chore.

That left Rick and I ALONE……. in our own home…….. for possibly the first time ever!   It was a little weird…..  much too quiet, freaked the dog out so that she would not leave our side.   Not normal.  Rick always says that he can’t wait for the time that all my attention will be on him ALONE, (not that he is lacking in attention now!)  but, sitting there together in the living room, alone…….  well, it did not feel comfortable.  We enjoyed it for the night but went and retrieved Melody to be with us for the next day and over night.  We have since told all of them that they have to be home by 3 today, we cannot bear to be without them any longer!   That season will come soon enough, let’s not experience it before it’s time.  🙂

Kristi was so funny on Sunday night as she left the house with Melody to head over to the Orrick’s home.  She called out just before she shut the door, ” Now keep it G rated here while we are gone!”   Silly girl, we are in love, we are married so we have God’s blessing…… it is ALL G rated.    Now that is one thing we will NOT miss someday!

While I am on the subject of being alone…..

Yesterday Rick and I needed to be in Green Bay for an appointment.  We went alone as Melody stayed with Kristi.  After the appointment I needed to stop at Hobby Lobby, my favorite craft store that is run by Christians and honors the Sabbath.  Rick, obviously, was not interested in stepping one foot inside a craft store, (it might blow his manly man image  🙂  ) so he went to do manly thing like getting the oil changed while I was shopping.  To tell the truth, I am really not a shopper.  I knew what I was going in the store to purchase, I had my list and within 15 minutes I was out.  I called Rick because I did not see our car in the parking lot, and I made sure I had looked well as there are lots of small black cars out there these days!   He’s said he was just getting in for the work to be done so it would be a bit before he would come and get me.

Wow, a few minutes……  I was immediately wowed by the fact I had a few minutes with absolutely nothing that I had to do or could accomplish (being away from home and all! ).  I stood there and completely enjoyed the moment.  I watched people busily going in and out of Hobby Lobby, and might I mention a few men, and they did not look less manly when they came out I might add!   I listened to the sounds of the city, watched a women with six children and one very large dog pile out of a small mini-van, dog running loose to the shrieks of the children.  I watched this woman get the dog under control and designate who would be staying with the van to watch the dog and then meander her way with four young ones in tow across the parking lot and into the store.   That was me, minus the dog, not so long ago.  I watched the sky darken and the the bright moon start to show itself.  And best of all I got a chance to pray, to thank the Lord for my family, for time with my sweet husband, to intercede on other’s behalf and for the women with all her children and the dog, for her strength and ability to love her children well.  The cool air the the gentle mist falling from the sky in the middle of this big city was beautiful in such a different way for this country loving girl.  As I stood on the sidewalk waiting, God met me there, right there in front of Hobby Lobby.  He gave me a moment and I took it!

Blessed to be with Him, wherever I am,

Joyce

Valentines Day   Leave a comment

The house always looks so beautiful with the red roses and candlelight!   Our house felt so warm and delightful as we celebrated with filet mignon, sparkling cider, garlic/parmesan mashed potatoes and a delicious salad.  I enjoy feeding my wonderful husband a meal that he enjoys so much.  He is worth it!

Kristi and I had a discussion about the true meaning and celebration of Valentines Day.  She made the comment that it was really for couples even though in our family their father has always expressed his love for his girls by giving them red roses on this day.  He always brings me beautiful roses, and this year the two dozed were spectacular!

I do not know why Rick and I have not made this a “couple” only celebration, but I do think it may have to do with the fact that we had our first child ten months after we were married.  I was 8 months pregnant on our first Valentine’s day as a married couple.  Children have alway been a part of our celebration.  We are so thankful that God gave Rick and I such a strong love for each other and then blessed us with these beautiful children so our Valentines Day has always been about our love— multiplied!  Rick also has wanted his daughters to know that he loves them so much and to be the first to give them roses.  He is also the first to give them diamonds as they get a beautiful diamond purity ring when they turn eighteen.  He is setting the standard high for any man to come behind and match.  They must treat his girls well and  like ladies, because he has treated them that way since they were little.

 

 

Melody would not slow down for even a moment so I could take her picture.  She was making a chocolate/almond  cake for her daddy for our supper.  It was quite fudge and rich and I am sure any chocolate lover would have enjoyed it very much.

She decorated it with a frosted heart and little red cinnamon hearts — so pretty.

We exchanged cards and laughed about the years that have gone be all to quickly!  God’s grace on us is evident and we are thankful, so very thankful, to be celebrating a long life of love!  God is good!

Blessed to be loved so much,

Joyce

Posted February 15, 2011 by joyfulhouse in Around the house, Door County Life, Family

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This is what the weekend was about —  Seeing Jason being baptized at their church and celebrating his graduation from college.  Mostly the Baptism!   What a beautiful and holy celebration of God’s working in Jason’e life, his growth in God and the good fruit that is showing in his life.  As Pastor James of Harvest Bible Chapel says, “If the Word of God has not changed you, It has not saved you”  Jason is changed, he is passionate about obeying God and allowing God to run in his life.  Part of having Jesus Christ as your Lord is following His example and becoming Baptized.

Jason was very nervous about talking in front of such a large group and so his Pastor asked him questions and allowed Jason to share within their conversation.  I hope to have this up so you can see the baptism soon.

Afterwards we went to a wonderful place for dinner.  Jeni did a great job as the place was large and we were able to have a section to ourselves where we ate and visited and enjoyed each other’s company for over two hours.  It was peaceful and such a special time.

Jason really enjoys the large cookies instead of cake so Jeni purchased two of them for the dessert.  She told the decorator to use “boy” colors and so the lady used Packer colors!   You just have to love the way we Wisconsinites think!

It was a beautiful weekend, beautiful celebration of our family and especially Jason.

Blessed by God, so thankful for all He is doing.

Joyce

Posted February 14, 2011 by joyfulhouse in Around the house, Family, Spiritual Life

Oak Creek Fun!   Leave a comment

Our gang,  we love them so much!

The Blonde Squad…..  one was sleeping

 

We taught Mandy and Jason a new game.  Mandy did not want to play at first, then she realized that she was pretty good, then she ended the game with words we had never heard of!

 

 

Yes, we have to play word games with a computer or dictionary close by because we make everyone verify their words…… then use them in three different sentences….  just kidding, one sentence is enough, I am not that cruel.

 

Sister Love

Annie doing push-ups, or face plants…..   Either way, she has the golden hair that is so beautiful!

Jeni showing the younger sister how to do it, cracks Kristi up but puts fear in Annie

 

Kristi is not impressed, reading the Art of War sounds good at this point!  Hey Jason!

Blessed By them all

Joyce

 


Posted February 14, 2011 by joyfulhouse in Around the house, Door County Life, Family

The Family Who Wars Together, Stays Together!   Leave a comment

On Saturday afternoon we all met at Jeni and Jason’s place with the plan to go bowling.  Then started the problem, there was no bowling open for non-league bowlers until after 9 o’clock.  Matthew had to leave that evening so we were not really thrilled with doing anything without him included.

Jeni had the idea of going to play lazer-tag.  We looked it up in the phone-book and there was a place within 10 minutes of their apartment so we decided to try something new and so we  booked our time frame at the place.  It was then that the girls became obsessed with the proper clothing and all went into Jeni’s bedroom to put on as much black clothing as Jeni owned, therefore taking on the identity of Ninjas.  I won’t say who, but one of our daughters often refers to herself as a Ninja, just a Johnson point of interest for you folks!

After dressing appropriately for the game, well some of us had no choice as what we came in was what we had to wear, we headed to the place.

I will be honest, when we first walked in the place I was a little creeped out.  It was in a big warehouse and run by a younger crowd.  I was not sure what we were getting into.  It did not help that some of my children were telling me that I probably could not play because I get vertigo ( which is true, but come on now! ),  they said it would be too dark I might run into something, BLAH BLAH BLAH.  Just when I was almost convinced that maybe this was not a good thing, especially after signing a release form basically telling the business that we were taking all responsibility for our lives, the door opened and out came the previous players from the game area.   I almost laughed as about 8 little girls came out of the door, scrawny little girls at that.  I did not know that Girls Scouts has a badge for warfare!    😉

That was all I needed to see, now I knew  I could most definitely play the game.  I need to tell you that at this time we still thought we would be going in to play tag, running around with vests and lazer guns to put each other out of the game…..  little did we know.

Here are our girls ready to go in and have some fun.  They look so innocent here, that was about to change and one of them would even become the enemy!

See the Big guns on the right?  These were not cheap toys, in fact the owner said that they run from $2000 – $4000.  Notice Mandy’s face?   She is such a hoot!

This is where they suited us up with head gear and our weapons.  It was at this point that I started thinking this was not going to be just an ordinary game of tag!  Each gun came with a name,  I was Vixen……. I know, I know, that did not sound very Baptist to me either….  I wondered if they had one more appropriate like Moon-Child or Peace-Girl.  Those head bands really had my inner-hippy coming out!    🙂

I have always wanted to see all my girls with headbands on,  they are just missing flowers!

Kristi getting her game face on.

This is as serious a face as this smiley girl can make, even while holding a weapon.

Here is our daughter who was unsure of using a weapon like this because she is truly my hippy child and sees herself as a pacifist.  She may have started the game as a pacifist but the whole family can attest to the fact that she did not finish the game a pacifist……  she was in the game and strategizing like the rest of us!

I can’t think of anything to add to this picture,  it speaks for itself!  They are CRAZY!

This was the playing field.  It was a mock town with 7 two story houses with mazes and tunnels, barrels to hide behind, boxes and dumpsters and a burned out car.  This was not tag, but rather team games where we were given missions to accomplish in each round of the game.  We were divided into teams and Mandy was put on the other team, not fair!   Each round was a different game, one game was to capture and hold the top floor of a certain building, we won that.  Another was hiding a secret briefcase and keeping the enemy from capturing it and hauling it off to their safe-place.  One game had a bomb that we had to be set off ……  you get the picture.  It was so much fun!

When we were caught, the light on our hippy-bands would go off and our gun would stop working so we would have to go behind our safe-place where there was an activation button.  As soon as you were re-activated you could play.  They also had the rule that when you were caught you could not speak as you walked back to the re-activation spot.  Let’s just say…… THAT was a little hard for some of the Johnsons!

Here we are being “briefed” on the next mission.   They would also check to make sure all of our lights were working.  All games were played with the overhead lights on and battle music playing.   We would not have allowed our family to play in pitch darkness with strangers, we protect our girls.

Each round we became more adventurous in how we went after the enemy and I was seeing family members throwing themselves down on the floor to shoot and spinning around to avoid enemy shot, being quiet, which in itself was shocking!   🙂  ,  hauling up and down these houses and slinging guns like they were from the wild west!   It was so FUN!   Our team won and I would be remiss not to add that I took out a fair share of the enemy, including  Mandy three times…….. just saying!   My family said they could hear me yell when I took someone out,  I think it was my mothering instinct over my girls, ……………..yeah, that’s what that was all about!!!!    They were only jr. high boys that I took out, and you know how jr. high boys are…  🙂  There was a woman on the other team but she came in  army fatigues and she scared me.  I stayed out of her way!  Half way through our game we added on a mom and her two boys.  She was the most gentle, quiet mom and I was so glad to have her on my team.. It was her first time playing as well.  I was hoping we could just go find a roof-top spot where we could exchange recipes or something, but her mothering instinct took over too and so we didn’t get a chance to discuss homemaking.   🙂   I did end up with her and her boys in the bottom of a house in the last game.  It was a timed game and we had to stay holed up and not get flushed out by the other team.  She was taken out before me…… just saying!   I was one of the last two on my team to get caught and so our team won!

DISCLAIMER —   I know guns can be offensive to many people.  We are not those people as we highly respect guns, own many and use them with care.   Some of the jr. high boys mentioned that they were good at playing laxer tag because they had played violent video games and they named the games.  I have only seen commercials for these games, but in the commercials they show people falling down dead, bodies blown apart and blood.  There is a HUGE difference between those violent video games and hitting someone with a lazer which makes lights go off on your head, giving you the look of a Circus clown.  It was so unreal in the death end of it that some of our daughters would not even realize they had been taken out, I won’t mention who!   🙂      No one fell down acting dead nor was there bloodshed.  When your lights went on you went and re-activated, you were not “dead” as in the victims in the games where the streets are filled with dead bodies and the shooter glories in the amount of destruction he created.  THat is a big difference in my mind.

The funny thing was that after we were done, we took off our equipment and within moments most of us were amazed at how sore our shooting arms were, and I mean sore.  I could not believe how bad my arm felt and I was scared that I had done something to my shoulder.  Rick was fine of course, but he has got muscle and uses it every day so no big deal to him.   I even prayed that my shoulder would be OK  because it would be embarrassing to go to the doctor for a shoulder injury from playing lazer-wars, ………… especially at my age!    🙂     All the guys were fine although Jason did suffer a scrape as he threw himself down in the line of duty to protect us from a bomb,  he’s that kind of guy!

My arm was better the next morning after some praise and worship at church.  God is good.

 

Fun time was had by all!

Blessed to have a fun family

Joyce

Posted February 14, 2011 by joyfulhouse in Door County Life, Family