Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Father's Love Letter - WARNING!!! A long one, get a cup of tea and enjoy!

It's my most favorite time of the year! I love, love, love this time of the year, ever since I was a little girl, as far back as I can remember! I just love Christmas so much. And now that I have kids of my own, I love it even more. To see it through their eyes is simply amazing to me. They are so excited with the lights and glitter, baking, and yes, presents! But the electricity in the air just from their excitment is enough to keep my mood cheerful and light... well most days.  I have struggled with enjoying the holidays as much since my mom passed away almost 5 years ago. It is still fresh in my mind today, the last Christmas that we spent together. We knew it would be the last, and made so many good memories with my children and I am so grateful for those memories, as are the kids. Kendra and Austin remember them well, and thanks to scrapbooking, Cam and Colby have them too! Nothing can ever make that pain go away for me, but it is less each year and the memories that I have of our time makes me even smile now!

This year I am dealing with a different kind of loss. The loss of a relationship with my earthly dad. He is still here, but due to some choices that he has made, we are no longer a part of his life at this time. It is a grief process that I deal with daily, some better than others. For those of you that know me well, you know that I have always been daddy's little girl and to not have that in my life is simply tearing me apart and question many relationships in my life as well as produce a sense of disbelief in most everything.  Having told you this, let me tell you about my day and show you just how great my Heavenly Father is to me.
This morning started as any other, busy getting ready for work at the church, just like most Wednesdays. It's a busy morning since I need to get school stuff ready for the kids before I go and make sure that they are all set. I needed to get something at the local store on my way to church. I have convinced myself not to do this, but I am a gluten for punishment, I guess, and drove by my dad's house. There on the front porch, I saw my dad and his live in lady were enjoying the morning coffee and paper together and my whole world seemed to crash around me. The tears started to fall and I had no control of them, the rivers opened like a dam and there was no stopping them. I cleaned myself up enough to get to the office without everyone stopping me and asking me what was wrong which in my world only makes it worse since it makes me cry more! I went into my office and started working, after all, work hard and think about anything other than what I had just seen. I needed to do the bulletin board in the Children's Ministry Wing today for the Christmas season and was looking online for a new idea. While I was searching, I came across the video that I will share with you at the end of this blog. This is no mistake, and certainly no coincidence. After you watch the video you will see why this was sent to me today and you might even shed a tear with me or for me! My Heavenly Father is looking for more from me. More love, more time with me, and more relationship. He wants to be my best friend, my comfort, and my favorite person to spend time with. He wants to be my Dad! 
I hope that I haven't bored you too much and that maybe someone else out there can even relate or maybe it explains things about me to you differently. Whatever it does, I hope this video blesses you in a special way today!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Another reminder of God's awesomeness!

Today I was again reminded of how awesome our God is!
I had to take my daughter Kendra to the cardiologist in Portland for an echo cardiogram. Last week at her sport physical they detected a murmur in her heart and wanted to be sure that it wasn't anything to be concerned about. It was a great day for us, the sun was out so the driving was nice, but more importantly, we had time to chat, really chat! We don't have that opportunity very often without 4 guys that we both love dearly being around to either overhear us or offer their own opinions, LOL! So that time in the car was a huge blessing to me! But what really was amazing to me, was that I was able to sit in the room with her while they were doing the sonogram and I could see her heart beating and providing life to her body and I was simply awe struck at all of the details of this part of God's creation. If you have never had the opportunity to see this, you are really missing out on something truly miraculous! The things we just take for granted, like this, your heart continuing to function one beat at a time to keep us going in our day to day! What an awesome God I serve!!!
At one point during the sonogram, they did an audio of her heart beating and I was quickly brought back to the day 15 years ago that I first fell in love with her and that sound! Tears filled my eyes at the thought of the gift she is to my life and many others.
God is good and He is awesome and we must remember to thank Him for all the "everyday" things in our lives. We don't deserve any of it, its all a gift of grace and love!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

In the search of....

These past couple of weeks, I have been in a blah, a fog, if you will. Nothing bad, per se, just the same things day in and day out that the rest of you I am sure deal with as well. The same family, time, seasonal and everyday issues everyone faces, but for some reason it seems to have gotten the best of me. The last couple of days, I have really been searching. Mostly inside myself, since I know that feelings like this, at least with me, usually start there. My kids are all doing well and are healthy, Frank is working hard and classes are going well for him. My "job" at the church is going really well, I feel. What can it be? So, I am in search of happiness. Sounds like a cliche, right? Not necessarly so in my case. I am truly a happy person for all intents and purposes and I seem to have lost it, so I am looking for it! I know that I need to be looking to the One who created me inside and out and let Him show me where my happiness and wholeness comes from and I am trying, really I am. Just while I am on this part of the journey, I am still looking for my true happiness and am impatiently waiting for it to return.
In my devotions today (not a coincident, I know):
"The strngth and happiness of a man consists in finding out the way in which God is going and going in that way too." ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Anyone who knows me well knows how incredibly random that I am :) I have a major case of "oh it's shiny", meaning I can be in the middle of a sentence or a thought and something else will catch my attention and I am off in a whole other conversation about that or an exclamation about what I just saw, leaving the one that I am with and talking too with this look on their face of pure confusion. This is usually my dear sweet hubby, who now after almost 15 years of marriage, just smiles and shakes his head and continues to love me in spite of myself! Most days I beat myself up over this quality as I really don't find it good for much. However today, God reminded me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made! In my devotions today, I was reading in Psalm 139:14 and it reminded me that God created me just the way I am for a purpose. God didn't just throw a recipe together and hope it came out alright... He put thought and purpose into me and that includes ALL of me, even my randomness! Also, during this devotion time, I realized that at times my randomness has a specific purpose. This past week, I have been under attack from so many angles that I lost count. And yesterday, I was beat down and my spirit was tired. However, because I really don't have the ability to dwell very long on anything specific because I am so random, I was able to use that to accomplish a large event for our church and I had a lot of fun doing it!
God is good and He thought so much of me to put specific thought and time into making me, including all my idiosyncrasies, like my randomness! Thank you Lord, for making me who I am, but please continue to work on me to make me more like YOU!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Politics... ugh!

Ok, so not being one to normally talk to people about politics unless asked my opinion, I am going to step out there and blog about it. Since it is my blog, I guess I can break my own "rules", right?

I am sure that there are people out there reading that don't agree with my choice of President (and I use that term loosely since I don't feel that I have a choice based on my morals and beliefs) and that is fine to disagree with me. However what I want to encourage you to do is to really take the time in the next 13 days to really think about who you are choosing to vote for. First and foremost, you need to get out there and vote. It's your duty as an American and your right to do so. Please don't do this without praying about it though. Ask God for direction in who He would want you to vote for. Be still and listen for direction, He is sure to answer that for you. This incoming President is going to greatly impact our nation, possibly more than ever before. Our children and grandchildren will feel the effects of this new Presidency and its effects either good or bad. If you are concerned with sanctity of life, protection of marriage being one man and one woman, and the tax and spend policies, you will think long and hard and really research and know your choice of candidate. In the past, Americans and in particular Christians are not always so eager to get out there and have their voices heard. November 4th is your chance. I urge you to take the opportunity and the gift you have been given and get out and vote! Let your God given voices be heard!

Please join me in praying for our nation and for those that will be in power. The late Reverand Billy Graham said this; "To get nations back on their feet, we must first get down on our knees."

See you at the poles!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The twins turned 7!

Cameron and Colby turned 7 this past Saturday! What a great day of fun we had and the boys had "the best birthday EVER"! I can't believe that time has flown by this quickly and that they aren't little boys anymore :( They are quickly becoming big boys and doing more and more things that their big brother and sister do. I love the little men that they are growing into though. They make me laugh alot :) and come out with some really "deep" thoughts and discussions. They both have wonderfully sweet and sensitive spirits and really complete our family.

Seven years ago when I found out that I was having twins, I regularly would ask God if He was sure that He had the right Janet Johnson, since we are told that He never gives us more than we can handle, hehehe. But since the day they came into this world October 18, 2001, I knew God had the right Janet Johnson!
Happy 7th Birthday Colby and Cameron! Mama loves you lots!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fall Family Fun

These past couple of weeks we have had the opportunity to enjoy some fall activities that we enjoy so much! We have been to the apple orchard twice and even had a chance to get a nature walk in to collect leaves, pinecones and such for school projects! The kids have had a great time and I had the opportunity for some great photo ops, yea me!! Soccer and football have also kept us out and about in the beautiful, yet sometimes chilly, autumn air! I love this time of year!
God is good to us and we have so much to be thankful for! This time of year, in particular, I tend to think a lot about being thankful. Not just when things are going well... but all the time. Looking around us and knowing that someone somewhere is having a hard time, maybe closer to us then we even know. We are working on teaching the kids this too. Trying to put an end to the negativity and complaining that can accompany complacency. Looking beyone ourselves and seeing the needs of others! We are taking great pleasure at doing things that cost less and have more family time involved... time of just enjoying being together. And suprisingly the kids are rising to the occasion and having a lot more fun than I think they even thought they would!
Happy Fall everyone! Hope you all get a chance to get out and do some family fun!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Wow... where have I been?

Oh yeah, I remember! I have finished my first year of homeschooling, started a new job, Co-Directed a VBS, went on a family vacation, taken some day trips with my kids and started homeschooling again, all since I last wrote, phew no wonder I am tired out! Seriously, God is good and He continues to shower us with blessings beyond my imagination.

All in all, we are really doing well. The kids are busy with school, sports, private music lessons and such. Kendra turned 15 in September and is waiting to start her drivers ed (yikes, I can't have a kid old enough to drive yet can I?) the end of this month. She is dating a really nice guy from our church and he is really good to her and they are enjoying their first relationship together. Casey fits right in with the rest of the boys in this family and the little boys like having another "brother" to beat up on and wrestle with! Austin is in 6th grade and is currently playing football. He is growing taller by the day it seems and the girls are starting to notice what I as his mom has always known, just how handsome he is! The twins continue to keep laughter and joy in our home. They will be turning 7 this month and the countdown is on! They are doing really well in school. Colby loves math and Cam loves to read... it amazes me all the time that they were in my womb all at the same time and yet are so different... God proves His power to make all of us unique for His purpose all the time with these two. They both play soccer and love the chance to run and socialize with their friends. Frank has gone back to school two nights a week. He finally got his chance to move into a machining position at Mid State! I am so proud of him! He stuck with it and waited for the Lord's timing to be perfect and here we are. He will take classes through Nov. 2009 and then will have a degree in machining. This allows him to move to another company easier if ever necessary, as well as make more money at the place he works now. He continues to amaze me with how he juggles work, school, youth group events, and still finds the time and energy to be an awesome husband to me and daddy to our kids! What a blessing he is in my life! I continue to homeschool the kids and work 20 hrs for our church as children's ministry director. God is bringing me through my own trials and tribulations and is definitly bringing me into a place of pure submission to Him. We have great friends of ours that have so gracefully reached out to us to bring us into their family and for this we are eternally grateful. Nona and Ken have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and have recently stepped in to being the grandparents to my kids and filling a void that was so needed. Their daughter Devon and I have quickly become best of friends and God knew I would need this in my life. I have become Auntie to their two little girls and I couldn't love them more if they were mine. Devon's husband Ryan is a great friend to all of us, especially to Frank who has been needing a "guy" friend for some time, again God's timing is perfect and He knows us better than we know ourselves especially our needs and desires.

I think that about catches us up to date! I am really trying to get better about writing things both to people in form of email and cards, as well as journaling more. So, I will add this to my list and hope to write more even if its just a little thing about what might be going on at our home and in our lives!
Thanks for checking in and catching up with us. I pray that this finds all of you well and that God is showing himself to you in a new and special way at this time in your lives!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Exciting happenings in the Punkin Patch...

Over the past two months we have had so many exciting events happening that we have had a hard time keeping up with it all! God is good and has shown Himself to us....

Our neice Kaylee Jean Valcourt joined our family on 5/1/08! I was able to be there to witness her arrival into the world and was so blessed to be a part of this miracle from God!

Our nephew Nic Lee graduated from Lawrence High School on 6/6/08 ! We are so proud of him. He is headed for college in Chicago in the fall.

On May 26, 2008 I officially joined the staff at our church, Faith Evangelical Free Church. I have been asked to become the new Children's Ministry Director when the current director moves away to the mission field of Africa. Please pray for me as I adjust to this new adventure in my life. I am so excited that God has provided me with a job that will allow me to work with children and reaching them for His Kingdom! God is good!
So, as you can see, there has been a lot going on but really great and exciting things. Summer is here and we will be super busy with mission trips, Vacation Bible School, a family vacation and more. Check back for pictures and little updates along the way! And keep us in your prayers!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Just wanted to take a quick moment to let you all know that we are alive and well! Many of you have been sending us emails and notes (so nice to know that we mean so much to all of you) wondering why you hadn't heard much from us as of late. We are super duper busy with homeschooling, sports, music lessons, and just getting out to enjoy God's gifts of sun and warm weather.
Kendra is playing softball for the Waterville Jr. High Softball team. She is doing so well. She is the starting catcher (yes, my little, petite, baby girl is catching!) and really likes it and does very well at it! She is hitting the ball regularly this year too, so it is really exciting to watch her games. Frank and I joke, that this is the payoff for all those t-ball games we sat through when she was 4-5 years old, hehehe! She is really loving the sport this year and the girls at the school have really accepted her and her homeschooling choice, so she is a happy girl!
Austin is playing in the minor league of the Waterville Cal Ripkin league. He started playing catcher (like his sister) and 1st base. A week ago, the coach wanted to try him on the pitchers mound. We all were unsure what he was doing this for, since he had never pitched before. However, he pleasantly shocked us all when in the course of 4 innings he struck out 9 boys!!! We were so thrilled and he was so excited. He has pitched since then and is only getting stronger and more acurate the more he pitches! Who knew he had this talent in him, since he only started playing baseball last year! He is truly coming into his own and we are so proud of him! He is a great sport, has a great attitude on the field and simply loves to play the game!
Colby and Cameron both started playing farm league baseball two weeks ago on Saturday mornings. The first Saturday it was rainy and very cold. Cam ended up crying and sitting with me in the van. He decided baseball was not for him and quit for this year at least. He loves to cheer on his twin!! Colby is having a little hard time with not having Cam on the field with him, since they have never done any activity apart. I think this is good for them though, as they are very different little boys with very different interests. It seems this might just be the beginning of things to come for them.
Frank finished his last class at the local college with an A- for his grade! We are so proud of him and how he perservered through all he had going on. He is still working lots of hours to provide for us, but seems to be a little calmer now that he doesn't have so much studying and homework to do. He and Kendra are preparing to take a missions trip together to Mexico the end of June. And he is playing on the church softball team too.
I am spending more time in my van these days playing taxi driver for the troops! I love it, except when I have to go to the gas station, ugh! I am a little down and depressed about my unability to keep up with housework and getting healthy meals on the table before 7pm at night, and keeping up with my quiet time, and finding time to spend with Frank... the list goes on and on. Sometimes it gets the better of me, and I get really upset about it. I keep telling myself it is just for this season, but it still gets to me and I find myself a little on edge about it all. Plus, we are winding down our first year of homeschooling, so that has it's own challenges! Oh, well, such is the life of a homeschooling, SAHM! I am still very thankful that I am able to stay at home and I wouldn't change a thing, just getting a little frustrated with the lack of time I have these days for things that I need to get done!
We are healthy and have much to be thankful for! God is good to us and very real in our lives. We pray that this true for all of our family and friends! Lord willing, things will settle down in the next month or so and we will have time to grab that glass of ice tea or coffee together and just visit!!!

My thought for today:Isaiah 43:2 When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you (NLT).

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I'm seeing spots!!!

So, in case you ever wondered what happens when a 6 year old gets bored and has a sheet of stickers! He really liked this look too, everyone that saw us at Shaw's that day took a second look at him, hehehe!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sometimes I'm a little slow....

God has been showing Himself to me in so many ways lately that it seems hard to keep up and to be honest even a little overwhelming at times! I am so grateful for His timing and the way that He reveals Himself to me, but often find that I get down on myself for being so "slow and mentally challenged" (LOL) and at times that I can be so thick as to not get the point!
I have been reading some devotional pieces from Proverbs 31 ministries over the last couple of weeks. There was a challenge posted from one of the writers to read and study for the next 6 weeks - 3 women of the bible per week. I have always been intrigued by the women of the biblical time and why only some of them are chosen to be part of "HIStory", I mean there were plenty of other women of that time I am sure that never made the headline stories. So, I was eager to start this study with other women around the world that also signed on to participate. So far we have read and studied; Eve, Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah, Tamar, and Potiphar's wife. Wow, have I been shown some really interesting things about all of these women! Probably the biggest trait that all of these women have in common (and I can sooo relate) is taking things into their own hands, not allowing God's timing to be perfect in their lives. I so understand this. I struggle with this same problem/sin and I hate it about myself and beat myself up regularly about it. I know in my head and most times in my heart, that God's timing is perfect, BUT I still take things into my own hands and make choices and decisions in the NOW and suffer the consequences for them later on and most times it isn't good, ugh! I then have to ask God for forgiveness and try again. While I am a slow learner, I am starting to get it, little by little. I truly am a "work in progress". Good thing my God is patient with me!
The lady that is leading this study is Rachel Olsen and she had this to say in one of her blogs:

"I want to remind us once again as we read these women’s stories, that God uses the imperfect actions of imperfect people to advance His perfect plans for humanity and eternity. If we stop to consider that fact a moment, and how it applies in our own lives, I think we'll go through today feeling quite grateful that He does."

And this is what gave me hope this week and I hope will give you some too! Our God is good and He is patient with us when He can see that we genuinely are seeking His will and ways in our lives. Thank goodness!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Chatting with Cameron...

This past weekend was a really busy one for our family.. more so than usual. To add to the excitement of it all, Cameron, ended up developing a full body rash as well as some asthma attacks. He was fine, but still needed a break from it all and spent some time alone with me at home in a cool bath to try to relieve some of the itching and redness from the rash. During this time he and I had one of those chats that only Cam and I seem to have! I love these moments and I am sharing with you so maybe you can chuckle too and have a smile on us!

Mom: Baby, I am so sorry that you don't feel well.

Cam: It's ok, its not your fault. {{pause. in deep thought}} Mommy, I think that God forgot that He gave me that asthma part.

Mom: No baby, God doesn't forget anything, He knows everything remember? And God didn't give you asthma as a punishment.

Cam: Ok, well I guess He just doesn't remember giving me the asthma part then.

Mom: Cam, what is an asthma part?

Cam: Mommy, you know what it is. It's just like my arm, and legs, and foots and....

Mom, Oh, ok Cam I get it {{ smiling and hugging this very thought provoked little 6 year old}}

Thanks for reading and hope you laughed a little!

My Child!

A friend of mine sent this to me over the weekend and I thought that I just didn't have the time to read it... it was such a busy weekend. So, I read it this morning just before my quiet time with the Lord and I now know that once again God's timing is just simply perfect since this morning this made me feel so loved and secure! You see, I was having one of those "I'm missing my mom" moments that I tend to get when a holiday is on the way. My mom loved Easter and loved to celebrate it for what it is, the celebration of the Resurection of our Lord! She decorated the house with signs of Spring and made such a great dinner for all of us to enjoy! Anyway I was missing her this morning and then I read this and I just felt a sense of warmth and love pour all over me. God's timing is perfect and He keeps showing this to me through His word and through friends. So I hope that you enjoy this as much as I did. Take your time and read each one carefully and be so proud that you too are His child. He is Risen... Happy Easter!

My Child
You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27
In me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28
For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother's womb. Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me. John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3
My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the shore. Psalms 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5
I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. Jeremiah 32:41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3
If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29
Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20
For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11
One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21:3-4
And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21:3-4
I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. John 17:26
He is the exact representation of my being. Hebrews 1:3
He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. 1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. 1 John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. Romans 8:38-39
Come home and I'll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7
I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is…Will you be my child? John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad... Almighty GOD

Monday, March 10, 2008


Welcome to our Patch!

I am excited that you are checking out my new blog. I have often wanted to be able to write and "talk" about our daily happenings around this crazy place we call home and I have finally had the time and energy to get this up and going. I have lots to learn about this space and about blogging in general but I am excited about this new project of mine and hope that it helps with keeping up with all six of us.

Just to set this all straight from the beginning, I want to let you know where my blog title came from, The Punkin Patch. From the time that I can remember I have been known by my Dad as Punkin, not Pumpkin. When I asked him as a young girl why he called me Punkin, he responded with, "There are lots of pumpkins in the world but only one punkin, and that's you!". So, I wear the nickname with pride and thrilled that at ..uh hum.. 34 years old... {{whincing when I say that now :) }} my Dad still calls me that! In high school, I even had a vanity plate "Punkn". I'm sure Frank will love me for sharing this one, when I tell you that while we were dating, he too earned the nickname "punkin" from his co-workers since they saw it on my car plate, hehehe! And so recently I started refering to our family as the punkin patch because there are so many of us (however we are done growing as far as we are concerned, lol). And that is how this blog received its title... make any sense at all?? Well it does to me and I hope it does to you!

Stop by again soon to see updated pics of the kids and more information on what we are up to and have going on in our lives. I look forward to hearing from all of you from time to time!