Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Just for Your Entertainment

My sister-in-law just posted some pictures from the extended Johnson Family Christmas.  This is what happens when you try to take a "nice" family photo at the end of the day.

As you can see, myeslf, my husband and my sister-in-law thought the last picture was one too many.  But when I look back, these are always my favorite.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Holiday Crazy

So, the actual holidays are now over and I can relax right?  Wrong. 

Now its back to the ole grind, both in work and with the house.  Unfortunately, its still not done completely no matter how much I wish it would be.

But our time to work on it is limited.  Even though Christmas is over, we have lots of friends and family who are visiting from out-of-state.  Since they don't come home very often, we try to open our schedule up as much as possible in order to see them a hole bunch before leaving.

I love having everyone around.  My sister-in-law, brother-in-law and his wife are all here from California which is so wonderful.  Its awesome having everyone in the same room, especially for my husband's parents.  Each time we are all together, a family photo has to be taken.  This is the curse of having a professional photographer in the family.

Here we all are, oh Johnson family.  I hope everyone has a marvelous Christmas holiday and are now able to relax and recover.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Being Domestic

The night I spent making the paper doll, I also wrapped a bunch of presents and make some granola. I wanted to make something for my grandparents, but wasn't sure of what to get.  Then came Martha Stewart's Christmas magazine and my problem was solved!

Here are the containers that I made, which are based on the Martha Stewart idea.  I had to put one batch in a non-glass container since I was mailing it to my Grandmother in Florida.  Last  year I sent here a candle which unfortunately didn't make it there in one piece. 

Here's the recipe if you want, because, as my husband says "it's so good".

4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 vegetable oil
1/4 honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup of dried raisins or dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 300 F.  In a bowl mix oats, almonds, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.  In a saucepan warm the oil and honey.  Whisk in vanilla.


Carefully pour the liquid over the oat mixture.  Stir gently with a wooden spoon; finishing mixing by hand.  Spread granola in a 15x10 inch baking pan.

Bake 40 minutes, stirring carefully every 10 minutes.  Transfer granola-filled pan to a rack to cool completely.  Stir in raisins/dried cranberries.  Seal granola in an airtight container or self-sealing plastic bag.  Store at room temperature for 1 week or in the freezer for 3 months.

I was actually surprised at how well they all turned out.  I started with the mindset of filling four of those jars for each grandparent/set of grandparents but screwed up the math and bought way more than I needed.  Instead of returning, I ended up making 8 batches.  Now almost everyone gets granola for Christmas  :)

I would encourage everyone to try this.  I am definitely not a cook or baker but this wasn't really hard, I actually had a lot of fun making it.

These helped a little though...

Good tea and a little companionship, it was a very successful evening.  Now off to enjoy Christmas festivities with my family.  I hope you have a marvelous Christmas Eve & Day.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

First Attempt at Being Crafty

For Christmas, several of us went in on a gift for my sister-in-law who lives in California.  The item is very large so we had it shipped to someone already there so its ready and waiting when she returns.  This makes for one problem, how do you let her know what you got her?  I definitely wasn't going to cut out a receipt/picture and just give her that....BORING.

So, I thought up a creative way to let her know what her present was from all of us.  And in order to prove I have a small, but growing crafty bone I took pictures to document it.  Plus, posts with pictures are always more interesting.   We got her something for making clothes, so I thought it would be cute to give her a paper doll.

I found images online, but had to make sure they were big enough to withstand a pretty good size increase.  I printed them all on cardstock paper to avoid tears and bought a sturdy piece of posterboard.

I cut each out leaving taps at the shoulders so she could "dress" her doll.  In order to prevent damage when she dresses her doll, I reinforced it with the posterboard I purchased.

I bundled everything in to a cute box and put a little note inside stating "just something to help get you started".

I am so very excited to give it to her.  As you can gather from her gift, she is also crafty.  I hope she enjoys it as much as I do.

So, there is my first original crafting experience.  I can't wait to do more, but I may have to wait until next week since we can three Christmas parties this weekend and I have yet to make food for them.

Happy Holidays :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Too Much Time On My Hands

So, I don't like my display name/header, its just BORING.  I have been sitting here, wracking my brain to think of something cute and creative, yet descriptive.  But since I am trying oh-so hard, I am drawing more and more of a blank.

If you have any thoughts, my imaginary followers, please let me know.

Also, I made a paper doll to indicate what I got someone for Christmas since they won't actually receive it until January.  I am so proud of myself for a.) thinking it up all myself and b.) being crafty enough actually accomplish it successfully.  So to commemorate this momentous occasion, I have taken photos along the way and will be posting them soon.

This is Teresa Johnson signing out....good day.


So, about 30 seconds after I published the above post, I thought of something I might like instead of my original header.  "at least I tried" isn't too bad.  I think I am going to try it out for a bit.  Plus, its the interet, if I end up not liking it as much its just a click away from being changed  :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dreaming of a Crafty Christmas

I have realized recently that I am absolutely obsessed with reading blogs.  I think I could do it for a job if someone wanted to pay me or even if they didn't  :)

There are several I read on a daily basis, which is made possible by the fact that work is very slow right now.  Most of the blogs I am dedicated to are craft/photography blogs.  There are so many inspiring ideas that I want to take a week off, spend all out money at Hobby Lobby and go craft crazy. 

But even if I didn't go coo coo for crafts, at this moment there isn't enough time to even think about it; on top of the fact that I'm not a naturally crafty person.

But seeing such wonderfully simple, creative ideas makes me want to dig deep down and find that small, crafty bone in my body.

Its especially hard because right now all the ideas revolve around the holiday season.  There are so many ornament, packaging, gift and decorating ideas I think I would need to start now for next year.

Someday though, I will have/take the time to stretch this hidden creative muscles but until then, I am just making sure to write down my ideas.

I should start planning craft Saturdays with my girlfriends.  It's a good idea, I may just do that  :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Finishing Touches on the Big Projects

Last night, my wonderful mother came over one last time and we finished painting my kitchen cabinets.  I have had fans on them since 7pm yesterday in hopes of them drying enough to put pots & pans & food away.  The kitchen is the last big project of the house, then we can start getting rid of all the massive boxes that are making Eric claustrophobic.

And while the paint dried last night, I started my Christmas present wrapping.  I am not quite finished shopping (2 more to go) and I have to make some granola but I am feeling good.  I can't believe the holidays are already upon us.  We have two Christmas parties this weekend and then...Christmas is here.

I am very thankful that the house is coming together in time to actually enjoy Christmas and possibly take some time away to spend with friends and family as opposed to living with paint in my hair.

I am so grateful to everyone that came and helped and all the people who so graciously offered their time.  We are so blessed to have such wonderful family and friends.

And on top of everything, we still cut down a Christmas tree.  It may only be 2' tall this year, but its still there, lit up with ornaments standing in our corner  :)

Friday, December 11, 2009


We moved in to the house this week, which is a really great feeling.  An even better one came last night when the couch was mostly arranged, which made our place actually look like we're living there.

Our bedroom is set up for the most part, just need the clothes taken out of suitcases and put away.  The only thing that is preventing us from truly being moved in is the kitchen.  The walls and ceiling is painted, I am just trying to finish the cupboards, which take FOREVER.  Once that's done, I can unpack my kitchen, touch up the paint we scratched and DECORATE! 

My favorite part is coming slowly but surely, though I want to take my time.  I want to find cool, unique pieces that really give our house personality but it usually more patience than I want to have.  So I will have to be patient and content until those little things come. 

We have a couple furniture pieces that are unique but we are finding out that our living room isn't as big as we had thought or that our couch somehow grew while in storage of the last three months.

And once we feel like we can relax, onto the next adventure!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pouring Rain

Unfortunately, the awful cliché "when it rains, it pours" is often times very true.

This is how we are feeling a bit. Progress in being made at the house, but now we're at crunch time. Still a lot to be done and time is getting shorter and shorter.

Along with a few other occurrences, we are started to feel like we're between a rock and a hard place. But we're sticking together and going to be dry soon enough.

We just hope that the saying is true for good things too :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Thanks

I get so wrapped up in my own needs and wants and fears that I forget all the wonderful things that have happened to me and all the good that is in my life.  This Thanksgiving, I have to take a step back and just be grateful for what I have, in spite of the questions I feel are unanswered.

I continue to let myeslf run on this hamster wheel; never ending, around and around.  I know I have nothing to worry or stress about.  I have a wonderful husband, great friends, amazing family and I am not in want of anything.  What do I really have to fret about?  I am not being persecuted for my religion or ethnicity, I have no fear of rape or murder and I am not going without food or shelter.  God, I have it so good!

I know that I am going to be fine and my life will continue to be well no matter what direction my life goes in, but not everyone is that fortunate.  God bless my husband, because he always keeps me in check in this area of want versus true need.  I am so thankful for him. 

I just have to get over myself and hopefully I am learning how, God help me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hard Decision

Why is it so difficult for me to make a tough decision, a decision that will better me, no matter what I choose?  Both options are things I want/want to accomplish.  But why is it that I think I make a decision and then proceed to try and talk myself out of it?

You'd think I would be proud of myself and excited, but no.  I am scared out of my wits and the whirlwind of "what ifs" and hypotheses run rampant in my head constantly.  I can't get them to stop and because of them I question everything, I second guess everything.

Why can't I be brave enough to stand by a decision to better myself?  Why must I try and convince myself to stay where I'm at, to stay safe.  Safe is where I get bored and want change, but don't really want the action that comes with it.

I don't know how to make myself braver or more confident and I definitely don't know how to stop my brain from running in circles a million miles per hour.  I think I would give anything to change this trait in myself.  I frustrate myself by doing it, but yet it never ceases.

What is wrong with me?!  Dear Lord, help me for I know not what I do.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Waiting More Than Working

We are still working hard on the house, but it seems like we're in a lull.  We had a whirlwind at the beginning because there was so much to do and we are going to be so busy with the holidays and moving.  But right now, its somewhat of a waiting game. 

We're actually at that point in more than one area of our lives.  We know that our timing is not always the right timing, so we are trying to be patient as we wait for things to become available for us to do.

Eric thought, has been working like mad at the new house.  He is over there 3 out of 5 work days and a few nights also.  And Patrick has been going there and completing projects which is great of him.  We are really appreciating the help he is being.

I am still having coffee dates with my "aunt" which I absolutely love.  She is so fun to talk to and has so much wisdom, two hours is really not enough time.

Most of all, we're all crossing our fingers that our moving day will be before Thanksgiving.  With the holiday being only two weeks away, I am a little nervous.  But I'm hopeful  :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Moving & Shaking

Things are continuing to happen.  Decisions are being made, we're moving forward and I am so very excited to see what life will be like at the first of the year.

Slight changes that are taking place with the new house are causing some things to take longer, but nothing we are worried about at all.  We're still making great progress and hopefully Eric got a lot done today.

As we've always prayed, we are making our plans and God is directing our steps.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Continually Working

The house has been coming along fabulously.  There are a couple things that have become a little more involved that originally planned, but we are making good progress.

I have decided that construction and painting cannot go on simultaneously, which means once I'm finished taping I will just have to wait.  So we will be working more in stages than we had first thought.  I think it is this way because we are moving so fast with the renovating projects.

It will be weird once we actually get to move in and live there.  It seems pretty unreal right now. 

It is encouraging though to see the house coming along so well.  The progress on the house helps us know that the other things we are figuring out will be decided in due time.

We're just trusting that God's timing is best, just like with the house.  We just have to be patient, no matter how much more I like my time line and plan.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Changes, Changes

There has been so much going on lately, it's been pretty crazy.

We finally got possession of our new house.  Remodeling starts today to ensure we are able to move in before Thanksgiving.  It is going to be a very hectic month.

We have made decisions about other things too which come January, our lives are going to be a lot different.

It's excited and nerve-wracking all at the same time.

I am just waiting to see how it goes.  But for now, I spend all my time priming and painting my new home.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Shut Up!

My brain is always going, especially when trying to make an important decision.  I think about the pros and the cons and the thousands of "what ifs" that come along with every option.  When it's an important decision I usually think about it 85% during my day (I am not exaggerating about).  Thinking about this kind of choice consumes me, I have to rationalize everything.  I always say, "I am just being logical" or "I am too logical for my own good".

And when I start talking to someone about this, my mouth goes as fast and my mind.  I am covering every option and every consequence and every possible scenario that could happen.  And this morning, I had someone wonderfully tell me to Shut Up!  and stop talking. 

This wonderful someone told me that I was being irrational.  From an outsiders perspective, I had my choice right in front of me.  Here are the definites, here are things that may or may not happen and everything else is speculative.  Here it is, here is your decision.  If you look at it with these standards, the choice is simple.

We were at Wealthy St Bakery and I could have burst in to tears then and there.  "You choose to complicate your life and choices" she said, "you create your own stress and chaos".  It was hard, but I had to hear it.  You think you have it all together and come to find out, you're your own worst enemy.

It's very scary, but I am going to do my best and take this leap of faith.  I have a wonderful husband who couldn't be more supportive and I am excited & nervous about what's next.

Stay tuned for more.....

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


How do you choose between two things you really want?  There is the possibility of having both, but it would significantly complicate your life and most likely, not for the better.

Do you listen to your head or your heart?  But this decision is influenced by both my head and my heart.  It's not a head decision versus a heart decision.  My head and my heart are contributing to both sides of this coin.

And the worst part, this decision can't go on for eternity.  This decision must be made by a certain date.

I wish I had a burning bush, or a cricket or a fairy godmother to tell me what to do.  Being a grown is so difficult sometimes....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Do It Yourself Change

When you are looking forward and trying to work towards change, sometimes its hard to know whether things are happening for a reason or if you're just helping them along yourself.

Lately I have been pretty dissatisfied with work.  It's been slow so there's not as much to do and things have just gotten on my nerves a little easier than usual.  But this is where the uncertainty comes in.  Am I just wanting change so badly that I am letting these things frustrate me or is my grace truly waning?  There are other, more serious factors that are included in this mental discussion, but I won't go in to detail about them.

I don't want to make a change without truly knowing, because it may cause me to miss an opportunity that is coming in the future, but in that same breathe what if I just need to take a step?  So the question of how long to wait still remains. 

There are always two sides to every coin and I just seem to talk myself in circles trying to figure out which is the best side for me. 

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Something I Needed To Hear

Thank goodness for podcasts, because without them, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to hear a great sermon from last week Sunday. 

I am the type of person who has that inherent feeling that once I make the right decision, God will bless me but only if I make the right choice.  As I try to figure out what I want to do with my life, I am constantly fearful of making the wrong "decision" which usually leads me to stay where I am and make no decision.  This is a huge habit in my life and I have to make a very conscious effort to keep from choosing to play it safe and just give up on the change I am trying to make.

In listening to this podcast, I couldn't help but burst in to tears as I sat at my desk. The most powerful statement for me was "Jesus blesses us when we don't have it all together."  Its not about whether or not you make the "right" decision, its the fact that you are hungering and thirsting after Him.  He doesn't wait for us to get it together; He will join us and bless us in our tension.

It is still going to be a hard road to walk, but hearing that is so very encouraging for me.

If you want to listen, you can download the 10/04/09 podcast at under Teaching + Worship.  Its a great message no matter if and where you attend.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Beginnings in the Middle

I have ideas and desires to do things in life, but have never acted on any for fear of failure. I am a safe person, who always chooses the safe option even if deep down I know there is something better.

But recently I have decided that this can go on no longer, it must end. With this decision, I am going to take the first, small steps towards being someone who lives life to the fullest without regret.

It may seem silly, but it starts here....with this blog. Its something I always thought about and wanted to do, but as usual, talked myself out of with no legitimate reason. This will be a way of documenting my odyssey of finding out who I really am, what I really love and what I really want to do.

I have a good life. Nothing has happened to cause this change except the realization of how unhappy I am in certain ways and the steps that I am going to take to change myself.

Because no one can do it for me, no matter how badly I wish someone could.