Archive for April 2011

Easter Sunday   Leave a comment

For some reason, I could not find my camera all day on Easter Sunday.  What a bummer!  The picture above tells some of the day as all joined around the table eating and feasting together after having worshipped our Lord together at church.  God is good…  Easter stirs in me so much knowledge of the Love and Power of God.

The picture also has a bananagrams game and and UNO game because that is what we played for awhile in the afternoon.  I invited my dear friend Betty and her daughter and daughter-in-law.  Betty is a word-girl, she excels at word games so this was totally to my disadvantage to invite her!!  Just saying.  Sure enough, it took her a bit to get all the rules down but by the end of the game she was winning every game, that was when we switched to UNO.

Delightful day filled with friends around the table the we love and sweet fellowship.  The last ones left at 8:30 and I went happily to bed a few minutes later……

He is Risen,  I am Redeemed,  He gives me Power,    I am rejoicing in this


Mark and Melannie’s 40th anniversary party. We like our marriages long and full of love! What a wonderful night of celebration.   Leave a comment

Posted April 29, 2011 by joyfulhouse in Door County Life, Family

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Good Morning!

I am sitting by my struggling fire (because I started it, not Rick) listening to the sound of a few trucks heading over to the Northport ferry dock to meet the first ferry of the day.  It is starting to get light outside and, for the moment, the house is peaceful.

Busy week, lots of schooling, making plans for our thirtieth wedding anniversary party and getting the invitations sent, having friends over, taking care of seedlings, cleaning our closet and hauling out everything that we do not absolutely need!  We have also worked to put together a beautiful Easter service with music to glorify our Lord.

We have  spent time this week mourning the loss of life in the family of dear friends, and the loss of love in a marriage that is dissolving, shared the pain of a mother who’s son is straying so far from truth, and shared the concern for a young girl who is living in a very hard family situation.   Many times in the last week I have thought to myself that there are SO many hurting people around us.  Kn0wing that Jesus is the ultimate healer and the God is Sovereign helps bring peace and focus to each of these situations.  God knows!  God knows!  God knows!   I say it over and over to myself.  Being who I am, I also find joy in knowing that everyone involved is ripe for a God moment in their life, for hearing about our Savior and a moment of prayer.  Many mentioned above have not chosen Jesus although they have heard the truth in the past.  What an opportunity to love and be the love of Jesus to those in pain.  What joy to know that I can be used of God to bless.

We did not get the sow that the infamous “they” were predicting.  My husband knew “they” would be wrong and did not get his plow on and ready.  It did snow for two days but not more than two inches were accumulated.  It was a little strange on Wed. evening when we were practicing “Was it a Morning Like This?” for Sunday and outside it looked like a blizzard!

Last night we started our Life groups at church.  This is the first time our church has done something like this and the focus is on knowing God’s Word and sharing the Gospel.  It is not that we have never shared our faith, but Pastor is gathering us together to take a focused and organized approach to spreading the Gospel in our small community.  Last night was wonderful and the sharing time and prayer time was such a blessing.

While we were off to our Bible study, Kristi lead a Bible study for three jr. highers here at our house.  They seemed to have fun and she had homework and memorization set up for them as well.  Can I just stop and say one thing— It is about time!   For two years I have gently challenged Kristi to teach, but she declined, mostly feeling scared I think.  SHe is a natural teacher and so loves God’s Word and sharing it…  I am so glad that she is stepping into this place of leadership before she leaves for VA at the end of the summer.  I could see the joy on her face last night when we returned home.  She was happy and it had obviously gone well.  What a blessing!

Rick and I have in the past, and continue to raise our children to be productive in life, to know how to work and to love God’s Word and to see the value and joy of being used by God to bless others.  It is satisfying to see our children fulfilling these areas in their lives.  Parenting must have goals or what turns out of the home tends to be chaos, we have seen this in homes over and over again, and in our own home where we have dropped the ball in certain areas.  We are thankful for a gracious God who fills the cracks that we human parents make, and for His grace as we repent of our bad parenting and ask for His wisdom to do better, after all, parenting is and ongoing process, or should I say never ending!

Today we will get school done for the week, clean, and clean quickly as we are having Easter here at our house with lots of guests.  We will do Bible study with Robyn and Betty and then end our day at a wonderful surprise party for dear friends who will be celebrating 40 years of marriage.  Very full day and it is time to get the chore list on the board which I have by the table.  This helps me stay focused and also helps the girls know what the day looks like and what needs to be achieved before they are cut loose to do their own thing.  Works for us!

Thankful and choosing joy, even when our hearts are heavy for others


Posted April 22, 2011 by joyfulhouse in Around the house, Family

Will “They” be Correct?   Leave a comment

This morning when  I brought Rick his coffee and  he told me to take a look at the sunrise.  We had heard weather reports of winter storms coming our way and seeing this vivid sunrise affirmed what we had been hearing.  Pink sky at night means fishermen’s delight.  Pink sky at warning means fishermen take warning.  Rick had already made the decision not to fish these few days and wait out this latest storm with gale winds, we have been averaging about one such storm per week!

This was after supper, a dusting of snow, and on the 19th of April!  That is not so unusual but the amount of six inches over the next twenty four hours is!   We will see if they are correct.  Rick did not put his plow on as he has seen to many missed forecast this winter.  We will see!

My bird feeders usually are spread out and filled with all kinds of finches etc..  When Rick put up this wire for the feeders, he was told that squirrels won’t bother the feeders……  WRONG, but that is a post for tomorrow!

Waiting for “the storm”


Fun with Friends!   Leave a comment

I have a dear friend who has a dear daughter, and we LOVE her!  She is spending Thursday and Fridays with us to do school with us.  She is such a fun person!   Here we are playing one of our favorite geography games together…. Oh! wait a minute, this is our ONLY geography game that we play.   All you need are the wonderful ABeka geography maps and a container of mini M&Ms.  I scatter the M&Ms all over the board on every country and then we go around in a circle naming the countries and if you are correct you get the M&M.  Remember, I have a houseful of girls so this works wonderfully as they love their chocolate.

That would be Annie going for Germany I believe…. Oh those Germans!

This was our house on Sunday afternoon.  Robyn is a wonderful hairdresser and she came over to give Annie a trim, then Melly, then Kristi, then our friend Heather, and then her son Collin…..  I think I was the only one that did not get my hair touched.  We played Bananagrams and hung out by the fire and drank coffee (accept me because I am OFF coffee after 9 in the morning).  It was wonderful to have the house full of people we love so much and it did not hurt that I won most of the bananagram games!  🙂

Two very lovely ladies — Annie and Mia.  The love between each other is mutual!   Mia is talking up a storm and counts to 10 and is only 15 months old.

She is s sweetie.

I am thankful for the Lord’s Day, for the ability to rest and relax and not feel the pressure to work and achieve like the rest of the week brings.  I was really relaxed as I fed my family hot-dogs and salad for lunch,…… and the good new is… they survived!   I was tired after a busy weekend with computer glitches galore which made me nervous for worship team on Sunday morning.  The good news is despite missing music in the morning, finding out very hard news of the death of a friend’s son, etc..  the worship was amazing.  So wonderful, so worshipful and so sacrificial.  God was honored and those who wanted to enter in did… God be praised.  Holy, sacred, joyful worship brings me such joy but as I get older I find that I am more tired afterward.  When all of myself physically has worshipped well, there is a withdraw later on in the afternoon as the energy of worship and of the Spirit moving eases out of my being and I rest.  It is beautiful and fulfilling and brings peace.  What a mystery that the indwelling Spirit does such a work in we humans, what a delight to wake with God.

Choosing joy


Gills Rock in Spring   Leave a comment

Here is our little Hedgehog Harbor, trying to shed it’s last remains from winter and put on a new face for Spring.  There is still some thick ice in the dock spaces and around the rocks.  Walking is treacherous and last week Rick had to assist an elderly woman who was walking on the rock beach and fell into the water, hitting her head on the rocks.  The slips are empty but it won’t be long before they are full once again.  It was particularly eery when we were taking these pictures as a heavy mist came rolling off of the bluffs and was moving across the water toward the north, the opposite way from how this usually happens.

This is our sweet Melly, looking lovely as we had come from church.

Here she is looking up at me from the boat dock.  She was so fun to be with.  I am so thankful that she let me take her picture and spend some time with her.



Catching up —   Leave a comment


I can not believe that it has been so long since I posted.  It always takes me a bit to catch up with our Door County life after we have been in our other “home”, Tennessee.  It is a different pace down in the south and so coming back to the fast pace of running businesses and getting back to home-schooling here in the north is always a shock to my system, and family for that matter.  Rick was fishing within days and our caretaking business went into full gear at the same time.  I came home with a horrible sore throat which I dealt with for two weeks before going to the doctor.  Some amoxocillin made all the difference.

Within a week of getting home we were hit with a doozy of a snowstorm.  At least twelve inches fell with gusting winds which made huge drifts on the highway and driving very dangerous.  What?  You mean you don’t have a wood stove sitting outside your back door?  I am tempted to haul it to the side and cook in it now and then when the weather gets hot.  It is really rusty from the snow but would probably still be useable for a couple years for backing…. hmmm  we’ll see!

One of my favorite sights during snow storms … beautiful red cardinals.

With Rick fishing we had our first fresh fish meal in months.  My family never favors the same taste so I makes fish in packets with everything from plain old salt and pepper to lemon pepper and dill and lemon.  It tasted SO good.   There is story behind this meal.  It was a Wed. and I texted Rick in the morning asking him if he would bring his love ( that is me!) some fish for supper.  He responded in a text Tom??    I, being not so text savvy replied Tom who??     He gave up on texting and called me…  He was saying TOMORROW —  the scalers were not being used and so he did not want to dirty up the machines for a couple of fish.  I reminded him that tomorrow would not work because we had Bible study.  i told him that was OK and I would make something else, told him I loved him and hung up.  As I did I knew that I would be having fish for supper—–   🙂   Sure enough.  I had to be gone in the afternoon and came home to find fish in the fridge!.   He told the girls to tell me ( teasingly) that I was a brat  🙂    All I know is that I am loved and it thrills my heart that my husband desires to please me when he is able.  Those fish tasted the best I have had in years,  seasoned with love!

Besides getting all of the above mentioned things going, it is also race car season!   Here are Rick and his crew getting the car going and putting the frame together.  After all these years of racing I learned a few things in the last month.  Such as, when he said he was buying a car, he did not mean a car with a an engine in it, just the frame.  I call that getting ripped off!   Also, when he buys the seat for the car, it does not include the seat belt, or safety harness.   Seems cheap to me!


We have had an issue with birds hitting the windows around here.  I would blame it on my windows being too clean but THAT is not the case here at the Johnsons, no siree!   I came home from a music practice and was quickly told to keep it quiet and not to make any loud noises.  Annie, our in-house animal lover had rescued a bird that had hit the window.  These things only go one of two ways…..  this one went well as when I checked in the bag I saw the bird hopping around looking out the screen window and trying to communicate to me that it was ready to leave this mock bird hospital!  Annie gloved herself and went out to deposit the bird which immediately flew away.  Good thing!

One of our good friends flew out from California for a few days and invited us out to dinner to a very fancy place.  John, the husband, invited the girls along which was a great treat for them.  It was a four course dinner and the girls enjoyed eating delicious foods that they had never tasted before.  The night was fun and we were so proud of the girls conversation and manners as they openly shared their thoughts with our friends.   Wonderful fun, and don’t they look lovely?

Last Saturday Melody performed before a professional violin player who judged her and also gave her pointers on her playing.  We were so proud of her, she did a beautiful job.  It was so fun to hear the different instruments and when a young man played the cello my heart was stirred to pray for a cello.  I have always wanted to play the cello.  We will see.  God does love to delight His children doesn’t He?  THe lady playing the piano is Melody’s teacher and she is a very sweet had happy lady.


Even though the judge looks tough in this picture, she was so kind and sweet, very good with children.

Sweet beautiful women of God,  just a joy to hang around with and be with.

Sunday was the celebration of Rick’s Aunt Ruth’s birthday.  We went to the care center where she lives and sang to her and visited with the Nelson family who were all there as well.  Such a nice time.  Aunt Ruth is animated and told us that she was waiting for her rich man to come into her life!  She is always entertaining… telling us who of the other patients drives everyone crazy and who she thinks can’t be trusted..  We were glad that we could go and be with her, she is an amazing women.  Her sister to the right is the sweetest lady who loves our family and my father.  I always enjoy my moments with her as well.

Door County is beautiful, the spring sunsets are vivid and capture our eye every evening.  It is good to be back into our routine and with lots of planning and scheduling we should be able to run the caretaking business without losing our minds!   I am always reminding myself that God is a God of order, it is His way and He knows best.  Living daily in His order for our lives brings peace…. and joy!