Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bountiful weekly blessings!

I have so much blogging that I want to do and just trying to find the time to do it! So, in light of that I am going to just do a quick list of blessings from this week and hopefully find the time to get more writing done next week since I am on summer break (see previous post)!!

~ A successful ending to a great school year! Our second year of homeschooling is completed and we are ready to enjoy our summer!
~ Friends that are willing to uphold me in prayer and take the time to share words and thoughts of encouragement when I have reached out to them in need!
~ Sitting with the boys and having them take turns reading to ME! All four of the kids are really great readers and it is fun to watch them develop a love for books! If you know me at all, this is a dream come true since I love to read!
~ New blogging friends! I have "met" some really great ladies that have come beside me in my blogging and chatting to walk beside me in my spiritual journey and my weight loss journey! What an encouragement these ladies have become to me!
~ Hugs and loves from my kids! Nothing can pick me up faster or make my heart more full than when I get I love you's,  hugs, and kisses from these special people! They have such great hearts and God has gifted them with such sensitivity and I am so glad that I am their mom.
~ The healthy body that God has given to me! I am able to walk, work out, play with my kids, be a wife to my wonderful husband, and do all the things required of me. The healthier that we get as a family and I get as an individual, the more I am able to do! Sometimes I take that for granted and had the opportunity this week to stop and be grateful that my body allows me to do all these things!
Think about what you take for granted and realize that you are blessed. it can change your whole outlook on things, believe me!

Another successful year of homeschooling is done!

Yea, we did it... another year of school has ended here at the Johnson home :) We are so excited to be finished and ready to have a summer of fun! 
The kids did a great job this year. Kendra did an amazing job completing her freshman year of high school. She is mostly an independent learner, with little help from me. I oversee her projects and tests and keep track of her grades. She really is growing up and it is fun to watch her learn and grow in her studies. Next year she has plans to attend the local high school to take biology and Spanish and possibly another elective. Since she has plans to be a nurse, she needs to take her science labs at the high school. The issues that we had with the public school still exist but she is a stronger more mature person now and she feels ready to deal with all that public school has to offer. She will continue to do her math, language arts, and history here at home. She continues to play sports for the high school and really enjoys the interaction that she gets with some of her old friends. We are so very proud of her! Austin finished his sixth grade year with flying colors! I can't believe he is in seventh grade, wow! He really excelled in math and language arts this year. He developed a new love for reading this year, and that made for a really excited mom :) His studies began preparing him for more independent learning next year and so I see him becoming more and more independent in his studies. He is ready and I am sure that he will be successful as he presses on. He too continues to play local sports and will start playing sports for the local jr. high. It should be a really exciting year for him. He continues to show maturity and responsibility and we are proud of the young man that he is becoming! Colby finished up second grade with flying colors! Colby made leaps and bounds in his reading and really loved learning multiplication :) A teacher once told me that the best class to teach is 1st grade into 2nd... she was so right! Colby is like a little sponge and watching him soak everything up and applying rules to reading and spelling was so fun to be a part of! He is already started on his second grade curriculum and ready to continue in his quest for the next part of the puzzle! Colby is the "class clown" in our house and simply blesses us with his sweetness, sensitivity and sense of humor! Cameron also finished first grade with a bang! He is a wonderful reader and reads everything that he can get his eyes on. Sometimes I forget what a good reader he is and find out when he is reading an email or paper over my shoulder ;) He never liked math, but really excelled at it this year and really found that he liked multiplication. This was a really exciting time for me, because previously math brought lots of tears and discouragement so this made me really happy to see him succeed at this. Art projects were also a favorite of Cam's and he is so ready for second grade. Cam is my schedule keeper and makes sure that we stay on task to get things done. I so love and appreciate his organization of our time!
So, on to our third year we go! We make mistakes and learn something new every year. The kids are given the option yearly whether or not this is what they want to keep doing and I get a resounding "Yes!!!" every year so far! God continues to bless us to allow me to stay at home to teach them and for this I am daily grateful of. 
Thank you all for your support and encouragement in this journey! We are off for a summer of fun and hope we have lots of adventures to share with you all! Happy Summer 2009!!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bursting heart overflowing with blessings!

I have so much blogging I want to do that I am not sure how to keep it all separate, making sense and the time to get it all down! Therefore, there just might be more posts from me than usual, so check back more often this week, you might just be surprised to see more from me!!

Per my usual recap of my blessings from the week, this blog will be the first that I write since I like to begin my week with a sense of gratitude for the MANY blessings that God bestows upon this greatly undeserving woman. I wanted to wait until the whole, long, holiday weekend was finished since I knew that there were plenty of blessings headed my way!

~ My sweet man who celebrated fifteen years of bliss with me this past week (see previous post)! I am so very blessed to be loved by a man such as Frank!
~ Watching my children grow up! While this is a bitter sweet time for me, realizing that my time with them under my care is growing ever so closer to ending, they are becoming such amazing people! They all love God with their whole hearts, have great friends, are socially adaptable (even though we homeschool, imagine that, LOL!), intelligent, sensitive, sweet and all around really a pleasure to be around. The changes that they are making into becoming responsible adults one day is simply amazing to me to watch!
~ Christian Music and the radio stations that bring that to my life! We spent the day enjoying some really awesome Christian music and meeting up with some new friends that we are making at our local Worship Radio station! What a treat for us! I am so glad to live in a country that allows me to bring that music into my home and car!
~ Being the Children's Ministry Director at FEFC! It truly is a position that I LOVE and really enjoy being with the kids in our program. The hugs, and smiles. The tears and the tantrums all make it what it is and I love praising God and teaching these little ones about Jesus!
~ Meeting new friends! What a pleasure and a blessing to meet new friends that Frank and I BOTH like! We were invited to spend Memorial Day with a newer family at Faith on their boat (thanks again Katie and Todd!) We had an amazing time and really relaxed and enjoyed ourselves! We look forward to more of these moments in the future :)
~ Learning new things about myself! I am constantly learning new things about myself and while sometimes it is painful, God is teaching me some things that are making me look at situations in my life and people in general differently. I am so glad to know that God certainly isn't finished with me yet!

That covers a lot of them! Hope you are feeling blessed this morning as well! Check back later on, I might get the chance to write again! Right now, math time is calling :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Our 15th Anniversary!!!!

I can't believe it has been 15 years! Where did the time go?? Well, it has been filled with laughter and fun, tears and pain, growing together and growing our family. 

Fifteen years ago today, Frank and I made a vow to each other. To love each other through it all, the good times and the bad, and like any other couple we have had plenty of both.  My mom once told me that the two hardest jobs that a woman can have is being a mother and a wife, she wasn't kidding. What she quickly pointed out then was that they are also the two most rewarding and she wasn't kidding about that either! 
I can tell you that I have loved being married to Frank and I have loved being his bride. I only dreamed of being treated like Frank treats me and I can honestly say that we are more in love with each other today then we were 15 years ago. Back then, I didn't think it would be possible to love him any more than I already did, but with time and seeing each other at our worst and yet our best, I do, love him so much more. I am so glad that I know that no matter what we are forever. There is so much uncertainty in this lifetime that to have that is simply a blessing in and of itself. 
Our vows were based on 1Corinthians 13 - the Love Chapter. It wasn't that long ago, that I was reading through 1 Corinthians and had the chance to really read that chapter and some of the words just jumped right out of the page at me. Looking at these past 15 years, we have really tried to live that out in our marriage and although there has been failure, I am happy to say we have really been successful at alot more of it! Praise God for guiding us through some really tough times and keeping us together when other couples would have called it quits! I am married to a Godly man who thinks that I am perfect and who puts all of his family before himself every day. He leads our home with confidence and integrity. Our boys have a wonderful role model and our daughter has such a wonderful example of the kind of man that she should be praying for to marry her one day. What a pleasure and a privilege it has been to grow up with Frank and to see him become the man he is today! I truly am blessed!
Thank you sweetheart for the best 15 years of my life! I can't wait to see what our future holds for us in the next 15! You are my love, my best friend, my partner in this life. You still take my breath away and I am so very proud to be your wife! I love you so very much, thank you for choosing to spend this lifetime with me!!!
Happy 15th Anniversary, baby!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Weekly check in... week 13!!!

Oh me, oh my!!! 13 weeks already and feeling really good about some of the changes that we have made as a family in our eating and lifestyle changes! What a great family I have as they have embraced our new changes with little to no complaining and surprised at what they actually like to eat :)Turkey instead of red meat has become a staple and yogurt, fruits and veggies have replaced almost all snacky type foods that used to occupy our snack drawer! The biggest hurdle we have right now is that we are eating later at night then I would like to because we are always on a baseball/softball field until long after dinner time. Weekly hiking trips discovering new trails and areas around Colby College and the Kennebec River have become something that we all look forward to, even our little sweet doggy girl, Erin!! We have also started using the Colby College outdoor track once a week, what fun that is to watch the kids pretend to be in a race and running around the track, exercising but oh what fun!
So, here it is, I lost 1.5 lbs this week.... FINALLY 25lbs gone!!! Now I get to celebrate and treat myself to some spa time!!!!! That was my goal to reach, 25lbs and then I would use my gift certificate to a local spa for some pampering and me time!! I am so excited and top of my to-do list tomorrow morning is to call and make the appointment!!! I can't wait and I can't wait to tell Frank, he will be so proud and happy for me. He truly is my biggest cheerleader and knows just what to say to keep me motivated (thanks Babe!).
So, now I am focusing on 10lbs at a time instead of 25. It was tough going there at the end of it, slow losing and too many poor me moments so a really good friend who has lost 50lbs on WW(awesome job Katie!), told me not to focus so big, so I am going to try that and see how it goes! Also, she loaned me her WW books, as well as point finder so I am going to incorporate some of that into my calorie counting and see what that does for me. Either way feeling good and loving the way I am starting to look in smaller clothes that I have had to unpack!!!
Till next week, hopefully lighter in spirit and in body!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bountiful Blessings!

Although the start of the week was tough with dealing with more family issues and such, the week turned into one of the best I have had for quite some time! Blessings for the week were bountiful!
~ My children who know just what to say at times when no one else does to make me feel better! God's biggest blessing to me were the days that I become their mommy!
~ A sense of humor! The ability to laugh and laugh often, usually at myself! Laughter is good medicine :)
~ Time in the van with the boys! We sing, and laugh and act silly and I absolutely love these moments of uninhibited fun!
~ Spending time with friends. Whether over coffee, chatting on line, dinner, or seeing each other out and about, these times are precious and too few and I hold them dear to me and look forward to the next time we are together!
~ A Godly man who loves me unconditionally in spite of my short comings and continues to support me in all ways and in every way. I love you, Frank!

Looking forward to another blessed week, hope that you are too!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bragging about my son....

I have the best son ever! Now that I got that out of the way, let me give you an example of why I think that :)
I have been having a really rough time as of late, dealing with a family issue concerning my father. It has been tolling on the family and really draining me as of late since we have been forced to see him at sporting events in the area. I have struggled with what to do concerning my little boys and how best to protect them and their little hearts at such a young age. Prayer is my only outlet for these feelings as most days I can't even put them into words to share with those closest to me. Well, as it would turn out, Monday I was forced to tell them the truth about their grandfather and it really was awful. It led to lots of questions, silence of internalizing, and finally in bed with tears, both the boys and I. It was to date one of the worst days of my life. 
Since Monday, I have been really wondering if I had done the right thing, telling them and hurting them in that way. Tuesday wasn't much better and Wednesday was just as bad. I had to work Wednesday and due to Kendra's schedule, Austin was left to watch the boys for a little while in the afternoon. When I came home to get changed for Austin's game that evening, there on my pillow was a note:
"Dear Mom I would like to give you this note in return for all the games that you come to and all that you do for me and to say how sorry I am about you having to tell the boy's about him and it's true what Colby said at least we have Mimi and Bampy and loving friend's like the Redman's. I know I can't imagine what the pain is that you feel but I know it's bad. So please remember that you have me and Kendra and even if the boys' don't know very much about it they can still be a comfort to you.
Hey, by now I know you are sad so call me in and I will do any of these attached...." (he attached coupons that he printed that stated he would do _____________ without whining or complaining).
See how he can just melt my heart???? With all my doubting about my mothering abilities or lack thereof, this is my gift. I love him and his sensitive soul so much! Thank you Lord for this little man with a great big heart for me and for others, truly you have blessed me!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Weak Week 12.....

Ok, so 12 weeks and counting! A little bummed this morning when I stepped on the scale this morning to find out that it hadn't moved at all since last week... stuck!! I was all ready to celebrate the first 25lbs lost but have to hold off. I am grateful that I didn't gain, yet a little puzzled as to why I stayed the same. Oh well, still pressing forward. Frank and the kids bought me a new workout Wii fit game and I started that this morning so hopefully that will move the muscles a little differently?!?! Feeling really good though and now not so crazy about some of the excess skin that I have, so looking for some more specific area toning exercises... the search is on!!!

Hopefully next week I will have more exciting news {{ fingers crossed}} 

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bountiful Blessings!!

My blessings are too many to count this week in a list of five or six :) I'll do my best!

~   Having had a Godly woman as my mother and mentor. As an adult now and being able to look back at all that she taught me through actions and in words, I am truly a blessed woman to have had Bea Lee as my momma. I pray daily that God would continue to make me into the woman that Frank deserves as a wife and our children deserve as a mother. That He would continue to mold me and shape me to His design. Thank you Mom, for showing me how important it is to spend time with God and get to know Him and His plans. I love you and I miss you.
~   That homeschooling is winding down!! Yipeeeee! We are ending by the last of May and since we are ahead our days are a little more relaxed and flexible! The kids are doing so well and will be so ready for what this next grade holds for them in the fall :)
~   My family, Frank and our children make my life so full! My extended family means so much to me and supplies me with love and support that I so desperatly need at times! 
~   Sports! Yes, I love sports and am so blessed to have kids that like to play them!! I so enjoy watching our children excel and enjoy physical activity. They are good sports and as they are getting older the sports they play are getting more exciting to watch! 
~   New blogs I have "stumbled upon"! There are some new blogging friends that I have met recently that really seem to have a connection with me! This is exciting to me to get to know some new ladies and read as to how they schedule, homeschool, and juggle all their mommy duties as well as other things! I am learning so much :)
Thank you to all of you who held me up in prayer this week. Although it was tough we made it through to the other side and I know just how powerful prayer is! I am so blessed just to call you all my friends!!
Hugs to last the week through!!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Tying it all together!

Wow, what a week! I have had the opportunity to have every emotion known to human this week and yet somehow managed to make it out on this side of it with just a few scratches, bruises and knicks. God put me through my "paces" this week and alot of it was painful, but through the pain came some really great moments of feeling loved, protected and appreciated. God is good no matter what and I know that He is having me travel this road for a purpose and I will be happy to see what changes He will make in me in the near future, all for His glory and purposes.

Health wise I am feeling really great and learning new ways to keep moving and exercising my body. We have started walking trails around the central Maine area on Sundays as a family and we are really enjoying that. This morning at weigh in I am official at 24 lbs less than 11 weeks ago, YIPPEEE!!! I love to watch that scale moving lower and lower. Although that is a motivator, I am slowly learning to just enjoy the moments that I have and make the best choices that I can for the day, eating to fuel my body to keep up with a very busy schedule. It seems to be working, as I know that I am officially also 2 sizes smaller than I was just 11 weeks ago! I am sure that I could be more hard-core about it but I like this slow losing and it really seems to be working for the whole family which as I told you before was very important to me.
As mentioned before, my blessings came on the "heals " of lots of pain and hard work this week. Blessings, I have determined aren't always big and grand, out in the open, look at me kind of moments. Lots of times, especially lately, mine are quiet and small, private really only to me at the time. I do love to share them with you weekly, hoping that reading some of my moments might encourage you to look around your life and look past the negatives and really focus on the positives that God blesses you with. All that being said, enjoy reading my bountiful blessings from this past week :)
~ My very dear friends and family who have stepped into a rather uncomfortable situation to care for me and my children. Putting aside all thoughts of themselves, they have sacrificed their own time, comfort level, and feelings to just be there for me and I couldn't begin to thank them enough for what that has meant to me. Friendship really is defined well in the Bible by words and examples and these ladies (and one special Pastor) have lived this out in front of me and I am forever blessed by this.
~ My children! What a blessing they are to me.. daily. God has given Frank and I such sensitive and spirit filled kids. Knowing I am struggling, the extra effort to listen and obey and the unprompted hugs and loves are just what this mommy needs. 
~ My partner, my husband, my gift, Frank! Wow, does this guy have a lot going on in his life. Not only is he working long hours, but going to school three nights a week. Homework takes time as well on most other nights, yet he doesn't miss an opportunity to be there for me and for his children. I think of other close friends husbands and know that God designed Frank just for me! 
~ Fresh fruits and vegetables!! What a great item to spend my grocery money on! The kids and are experimenting with new fruits and vegetables that we haven't tried before and we are loving it!! So glad that the Farmers Markets open this week :)
Meeting new friends and learning new things about people. Working with children, I don't have much time to get to know adults :) I am enjoying getting to know some of the parents of the kids in our program!
~ Girls night! Had the chance to rest and relax with my best friend, favorite niece/bf and my too quickly growing up daughter!!! Dinner and a girly movie! Good times and well deserved and needed :)
I am going to end this with a prayer request for this coming week. I ask you to pray for me as I continue on this rocky journey of dealing with feelings and emotions that concern some family of mine. This year is my 6th year of missing my Mom being here on Mother's Day. Its a really hard week for me and this other situation is sure to make it that much more stressful. Please pray that God would comfort me and sustain me during this week!
Love to you all!