Archive for April 2012

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Our time for hiking down this path is now on hold for a couple of weeks due to may-flies.  They have arrived in abundance and breathing them and having them caught in our hair and covering our clothing diminished our desire to go back until the flies have left.  We will now do more hiking in-land and away from the water.  I have heard it said that this mild winter may bring more bugs than normal and if the clouds of winged pests we saw were any indication, I believe it to be true!

Commercial Fishing —

Since we returned from Tennessee Rick has tried to fish.  That sounds odd but the winds have been directly opposed to his getting  on the water.  It has blown strong winds more days than not.  So, he has been fishing but not for the last week and then only a couple days a week in the weeks previous.  Yes, this is a little stressful as it has been quite awhile since we have seen a paycheck, but such is the life of a fisherman.  I am blessed to have a husband who is so multi-talented and when he is not fishing he is doing carpentry.  Thankfully, he and very good friend Paul Hass, (not to be confused with his other best friend Paul Linden) got side jobs this winter doing two bathrooms in a summer house.  They are just finishing the work and they have done a wonderful job.  The owners showed up last weekend to see the work and were very pleased.  So pleased, that they asked Rick if he would consider doing their kitchen remodel next.  My husband, always honest, responded “I do not want to see your house for at least six months!”  He has spent many hours there, after his winter construction job and almost every day that he has not been fishing so he is a little over spending more time there at the present.  Makes me glad that he never gets tired of coming home to our home and me!!!   As that job is finished we are praying that the winds die down and that the fishing starts full time!

Care-taking —

Our care-taking jobs are up and running with almost daily emails from folk asking us for little side jobs to get done, house repairs, letting us know when they are arriving and when they want their homes turned on and cleaned.  It is a busy time of the year which combined with school for the girls and other family activities keeps us hopping.   We were taken out to dinner last weekend by a couple from California who at the end of the meal asked us to consider taking them on as clients in our business.  Their home is under construction and is one of four homes built each year in Wisconsin that is green to the very highest standard.   Rick is excited about taking on a home like this with all it’s special treatment.  I am thankful that the owners are kind and friendly people and it will be a joy to work with them.     THat business continues to grow as the Lord brings us people that He wants us to be with.  We never advertise and yet we have steady growth at the perfect rate for our family to be able to manage.


Speaking of Commercial Fishing, this is our new hired man.  His name is Matt and he is the same age as our son Matthew.  We met him last year in another of those God-ordained meetings and we have come to love this young man.  Matt just became a Christian about three weeks ago and is seeking the Lord and wanting to grow.  Matt is a very typical man for our area with the common struggles that affect almost every young adult man that I know in Door County.  The difference is that God in His mercy caught Matt and has put him in a place where he has had to deal with his stuff.  And God has put us, along with another family to walk alongside him and help him to grow in the Lord and lead him to truth.  It is an awesome thing to be able to use our mistakes to help another one to walk.  Matt was without a job and has a 1 1/2 year old daughter to support and so we prayed.  We  knew last week that our present hired man would be leaving and we were needing someone and as the days went by Rick felt led to talk to Matt about fishing.  He was more than pleased to say yes and although he has never done any work like this before, he is starting it on Monday.  THe best part is that he loves my husband and wants to be mentored by Rick so we believe that God is going to be doing great things with this relationship, fish or no fish!


I am so thankful for daughters that are willing to take a hike with their mom, hang out with me and enjoy being together!  They are so wonderful and I love them so much!

We are counting down the weeks, not days, until school is done and it is getting closer.  We are enjoying our classes so much and are doing very well with getting the books done in due time.  Even with leaving for VA next week to go get Kristi from college, we will have just a few subjects to bring along for the car-ride.  I am so pleased with how this year has gone.

As I look upon the last few weeks I am thankful for :

daughters and birthdays and celebrations of life

talents of our daughters as they follow God’s leading in their lives and as they learn their giftings from the Holy Spirit as well

opportunities to minister and bless young moms and little children in stressful situations where they just need a break

worship at home and with the family of God — new songs that move my heart to praise Him, the only one worthy of my soul’s praise and exhultation

for a pantry that continues to feed us and unexpected blessings of a farmer friends bringing us a cooler of beef and pork!

for a God who is in the details and knows just the right time to bring things into our lives whether it is beef or relationships or work to do

for a husband who faithfully uses his life and our home to bless others, who is allowing the God of the universe to rock his world and change his life

for a God who is patient with me and loving and gentle, changing me and drawing me closer to His side

I am blessed


Catching up Post   Leave a comment

 You’re all I want in heaven! 
      You’re all I want on earth! 
   When my skin sags and my bones get brittle, 
      God is rock-firm and faithful. 
   Look! Those who left you are falling apart! 
      Deserters, they’ll never be heard from again. 
   But I’m in the very presence of God— 
      oh, how refreshing it is! 
   I’ve made Lord God my home. 
      God, I’m telling the world what you do!

Psalm 73:25-28  From the Message Bible

Oh how wonderful it is to serve a God that is described as rock-firm, rock-solid!

I need that kind of God and I have often told people that if I can use a certain lingo, or recite the correct verses back to God or follow some formula to make God do what I want Him to do…… well then, He is really not God.

God the Almighty, All-powerful, All-knowing, Sovereign God!

That’s the only God that I can call God! I want a God who controls me

Knows me and knows what’s best for me!

That’s my kind of God.

No santa in the sky, but One who loves me dearly and sees me precious

and walks with me through life lifting me over the raging waters and leading me through dark times when I can’t see and disciplining me as needed because He CARES for me and LOVES me.



King of my Heart

Steadfast and Strong


Blessed to know the only God who is Rock-firm and Faithful


Posted April 28, 2012 by joyfulhouse in Family, Spiritual Life

Starting the Birthday weeks!   Leave a comment

In normal life most people like to celebrate their birthDAY, special dinner, presents and maybe some friends over.  Not in the Johnson house!  Our girls like to celebrate big and so they have birthWEEKS!   ONe day is just not enough of a party for our girls.  This started with Jeni, our oldest daughter and has carried on down through the sisters.  Annie would prefer a birthMONTH but my sweet husband has put his foot down on that much celebration!  Life is worth celebrating but the budget does not allow for it!

Last weekend Jeni and Jason came up for three nights and so the celebration began.

We had such a lovely time with them and did some fun shopping at the second hand stores and visiting around the woodstove in the morning with coffee….   just being a family together.

On one of our hikes we took Sammy along.  He loved playing leader and protector of the women!   His imagination and vocabulary never cease to amaze me.

Our two lovely ladies.  I love this picture as it shows them so natural with their smile and happy faces.

Jeni and Sammy joined the two!

The men as they sat watching the present opening time.  It is obvious that the school table never got cleared for the weekend.  Sometimes that happens!

Eating dessert in the living room, only Jason would look up, my Scandinavians are still a little camera shy after all these years!

We said goodbye on Monday morning after homemade cinnamon rolls and watching an Elephant Room dvd and then sitting around discussing our thoughts.

We are so thankful that Jeni married such a wonderful man and that he fits in so well with our family!

Blessed by Family


Posted April 28, 2012 by joyfulhouse in Door County Life, Family, Photos

Another Sunday Afternoon   Leave a comment

Matthew came home a few weeks ago and brought a special friends with him, her name is Emily.

She is a long time friend of Mandy’s and the two are current roommates.

Here is our whole gang for this hike including Jazmin who loves being along but can never sit still for a picture!

We hiked out and sat on the rocks and talked.  Emily has some skill as a botanist and pointed out different plants along our trail which are good for healing the human body.  I will have to remember the plants and look for them on our property as it would be highly illegal to pick in the state park!   It was wonderful to get outside and to spend time getting to know Emily better.

Another beautiful Lord’s Day hike…

Posted April 26, 2012 by joyfulhouse in Door County Life, Family

Jessie Tree   Leave a comment

Easter is the blessed culmination of Christ’s earthly ministry in the body.   To celebrate this year I put together an assortment of pictures from the life of Christ and various stories from the Bible.  We had a devotional to go along with it but to be honest it was disappointing and so I combined a number of scriptures and other lenten readings for our reading and discussion each morning.

We did not have a Good Friday service this year and as I was sitting in the living room bemoaning this, I turned on the tv and caught a one hour portion of a live production entitled The Thorn.  It is a musical drama performed in Colorado and will be in Branson Mo in June.   I was drawn in immediately by the music and the incredible performers and the methods of acting used to tell the story of Creation and good and evil and then the life of Christ.  The scenes of Christ crucified where beyond what I expected from a live performance but were just what I needed to be reminded of His great love for mankind.  I wept and worshipped and praised my Lord for His sacrifice and willingness to obey His heavenly Father, God!

Easter weekend was not at all out usual celebration in that other than cranking up all the Easter worship songs from Sandi Patty to CARMAN and attending church and worshipping with believers there, we did not have anyone over for Easter dinner.

And, that was OK!  I wasn’t sure at first but overall it proved to be just splendid as we enjoyed being together as a family and relaxing and going for a hike and then ending the day by watching the movie Fireproof which Rick had seen in it’s entirety but I had not.  I cried….   That movie gave me hope for so many marriages that are struggling in our area.

Our Pastor challenged us on Easter Sunday that we needed to make sure our Spiritual excitement was JUST as high on Monday and Tuesday, and Wednesday….   you get the picture.

The fact that I serve a Risen Savior, alive and here with me thrills my heart.  Not only on Easter but most days of my life.



Posted April 26, 2012 by joyfulhouse in Uncategorized

Early Spring Walk   Leave a comment

When one lives in Northern Wisconsin one tends to over-react to a sunny day, to lack of snow, and to the teasing of slightly warmer breezes, and we react!

On Sunday morning as I left church and felt the warmth on my face I declared to the girls that we needed to take a hike!

They moaned as they are apt to do because I do not have to walk for hours to call it a hike, but it must be no less than 45 minutes.

Here is our baby, Melody, with me at the beginning of the trail.

I especially like this picture! I just love that girls hair and so does her daddy.   We started off on our walk and I was thankful that we had bundled up because once into the cover of the wooded trail the temperature cooled quickly.

Here we are at the trail sign to find out just how long this trail was…. it was long enough–  could have been longer in my opinion but then I had to remember that it is really all about being together!

We walked the lovely trails, talking and discussing life and the beauty of nature and plans for the future.  We even took a phone call from a sister who knew exactly where we were on the trail.

This hike was slightly different than another hike I photographed last spring where the girls decided that we were lost and tried a sit-down strike against going farther on the trail without complete knowledge that I knew the way out.  WHAT FUN WOULD THAT BE?????

Tired girl on picnic bench, at this point trying to stay warm as I remember!

Below is one of the reminders that I often need which remind me of the beautiful place where I live.  The breath-taking beauty of water as far as the eye can see with the sun reflecting on it!

God is such an awesome artist and I love His work!

Posted April 25, 2012 by joyfulhouse in Door County Life, Family, Uncategorized