Tag Archive | Angie

Company On Top of Company

August 18-24

The girls are over the moon with their mini fashion shows. We are so spoiled that Gammie can and does send us so many outfits.101_9281 101_9285 101_9287 101_9313 101_9317

In celebration of Jeff being here AND he and Daddy being busy in the sub basement we had an outside lunch on the front stoop.101_9289

Right after that I realized that We had missed a rather special LARGE present that had been mailed previously from Texas. I think she got the most excited opening this one. The way it was rigged up the large caterpillar sort of popped out for her. Instant favourite.101_9290 101_9291 101_9295

That evening we had special plans. Jeff headed out with Chris for beers and visiting and the rest of us were off to Aunty Judy and Uncle Jim’s for a special family celebration of Echo’s 4th birthday complete with a cake made especially for her by Uncle Jim! He works for the Pilsbury company and makes an AMAZING cake!101_9301 101_9303 101_9304

I really can’t think of a place the kids get more excited about visiting than “Robbie’s House” and he wasn’t even there that visit!20140818_204537 20140818_191820 20140818_174959 20140818_194011 20140818_194035

In the morning the kids pitched in and worked on Echo’s birthday present from Jim and Judy – a Barbie lego set! With a little blue pool.101_9305 101_9310

We continued our learning… mostly shark related…101_9311 101_9314

And then we paid each of the kids and extra dollar of allowance to spend the week pulling weeds! What an efficient crew we had out there from the biggest to the smallest.101_9308

And the guys continued their gaming… interspersed with cleaning out of the sub basement. This all went SUPER well until they were at the tail end and found… a leak. Sigh. I am so proud of Ken for jumping in an working so hard to create space and organization in our world. This new and improved healthy Kenny is AMAZING.101_9283

We had company on Wednesday, well additional company. Robbie and Alicia came over for dinner and gaming. The kids are in love with these two, rightfully so. And it is doubly amazing that they can enjoy boardgames with us.101_9319 101_9321

101_9329I found a spare moment and finished up a special wallet for my Renaissance Festival outfit. It will loop around my handle so that I won’t lose my ID etc. I love it, I altered a basic billfold style wallet pattern to fit what I needed and there you go – no lost nothings when I go out this year!101_9322

There was time for playing outside AND checking out the garden with our guests.101_9323

101_9325 101_9326All this while Ken and Jeff made us dinner – Curry and a yummy sort of pudding pie. SPOILED US!!!101_9328 101_9327

On the 21st you can check back and see our Treasure Box we got in the mail from Grandma and Grandpa Mike HERE. We evened that day out with Munchkin (game) and time outside.101_9341

All the weed pulling led us to tweezers and patience as we removed burrs that attacked everyone pretty equally.101_9342

The kids have been loving another adult in the house. Especially one that knows all about Canada. Eases the homesickness a little, just like Grandma’s Canadian Treasure Box.101_9345 101_9351 20140816_175127

What a week!!!101_9358 101_9357

 

Really… can we keep Jeff forever? Because Ken has been so positive and the kids and I have enjoyed the company so much! We had all of Saturday and half of Sunday to enjoy with him and some lovely weather.

 

But then it was time to say good bye! Definitely a hard one… I don’t think anyone who visits us down here really realizes how much their visits and packages mean to us. A taste, touch, sound of home… thank you so much everyone for remembering us!

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Happy Birthday Robbie and Jessica!

November 16-17

Our Saturday was nothing exciting… Just an at home sort of day…

Watching old videos of visits with the twins and Emanuel when they were babies

Watching old videos of visits with the twins and Emanuel when they were babies

101_5264BUT Sunday… well we had Sunday school where the kids had their first practice for the concert in December. Ken took them and said the door was closed and the parents KEPT OUT! But I have copies of the script… just no idea what all the kids need to know quite yet.

The true excitement came after that when we changed the kids out of their church clothes, loaded up all 9 of us and headed out to a family birthday party celebrating the birthdays of two of Ken’s cousins – Robbie and Jessica at Aunty Judy and Uncle Jim’s. I wish I had gotten pictures but they have DUCKS now!101_5267

There is quite the menagerie, fish, dogs, a turtle, the ducks, lizards and now a kitten! The kids were in animal heaven.

Bella the Min Pin

Bella the Min Pin

Rascal and Bandit

Rascal and Bandit

101_5274The trampoline was still out and there for the boys to drag Robbie to and Echo had her own favourite dog to pet (Bandit).

With Uncle Greg

With Uncle Greg

We had 3 types of desert to choose from and a nice assortment of pizza. All in all they had great fun!101_5273

The first of my crochet critters got their new homes today too!! 101_5265

101_5277Ken did spend his weekend taking an old pc tower from the garage and upgrading it to working capabilities. Our laptop that the kids play on the most is dying slowly and this tower was laying around. One trip to the computer store for some parts on Saturday for me and Baba later and Sunday night Ken had it all together and set up. No speakers yet but quite the set up!!!!101_5280

 

Enjoy the photo extras!!! It was a great weekend!101_5279

Ken's cousin Angie and her boyfriend

Ken’s cousin Angie and her boyfriend

Jessica and friend with Greg and Jim

Jessica and friend with Greg and Jim

Present time (Judy in back)

Present time (Judy in back)

The Day Before the Day Before Christmas

While not a special day for the kids… but for Ken, very much so. With the cabbage rolls created the day before it was time to move onto potato soup and “gunk”… another Johnson family tradition. There are so many special things Ken has talked about EVERY year and things we truly could not recreate without the presence of his parents. It has been over a decade since Ken has last gotten to have Christmas with his parents, instead he has spent it with us and my family. Special, but definitely NOT the same.

Zander playing Candyland with Baba… somehow the instructions did NOT make it from Canada!

We have two days of family coming up… Christmas Eve will be spent with Ken’s mom’s brother and his family (they have two kids) here at the house with Christmas Eve dinner – the potato soup, cabbage rolls and gunk… we have not seen them since moving here as Ken’s uncle has been a little under the weather. Then on Christmas Day we have Ken’s brother and his family AND Ken’s dad’s sister and HER family. (Jim, Judy and kids) I think dinner will be ham! YUM!

Gunk… I am told it is “to go on top of everything”… trust me NOT healthy!

But YUM

The kids have expressed a little bit of sadness over missing some of the traditions and people we have left behind but we are so thankful to get to have these chances in Minnesota to really get to know and BE with the family from Ken’s side. We have been so lucky to be able to come here and live with Ken’s parents and take the time to find a real and stable life here in the USA. There is still lots to be done and hurdles to be jumped but we are starting to have a home again and that is a very precious gift.

Potato soup with unknown spelled Ukrainian name

The day before the day before Christmas has been a quiet one for the kids out of necessity. School stuff is put away, cleaning is being done… and most importantly to the kids — cookies are iced!! Butter icing on sugar cookies with sprinkles and M&M’s… though it was bemoaned that they are NOT the same as Smarties (Canadian, not those candy things).

Ice the cookies

In the meantime Ken and his mom had some bonding time on the iPads with a “jelly game.” It is looking like AFTER the new year these comfortable moments are going to be less often… at least during the week… for KEN… but I can’t say anything until January has begun so check back on that one!!

Gaming together

We sent most of the kids outside to play a bit in the afternoon but really I don’t think anyone is too motivated to do much more than wait for the Christmas festivities to begin, though the twins and I did vacuum the basement and tidy up toys and excess things that were out and in the way.

Front yard fun

A close up of the structure in the front yard

We ended the night with POLISH sausage (yum) and then some traditional Christmas movies for the kids (thanks again Sharon) and we are READY for Christmas Eve! 

A Santa out of Perler Beads… you can find the pattern on Activity Village