Sunday, November 3, 2013

heart strings

tonight i tucked ava into bed then tiptoed into our room to check on the boys... 
dan lay fast asleep with sweet jack tucked under his arms 
- his little hands clasped under his sleeping cheek.
 just the low light and our white comforter and dans strong tattoo'd arm around our little boy... 
oh man ! the one time i didnt have my phone ! 

a perfect picture....their sleeping faces- so peaceful.. the eyelashes, the curve of the  cheek.. lips exactly the same.
my heart is so full just seeing my tough guy husband so tender .. and my sweet jack so trusting...
such a intimate peek into the boy in my husband.. and the man in my son. 
 praying tonight.. praying for my men... 
praying for all the good things.. all the great things...
praying for a heart to be healed and a heart to stay whole.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

just things they say

 daddy is named daddy and hes a daddy and his name is daddy and he IS a daddy hes our daddy and his name is is that???? we gotta find daddy a name.

mommy: remember daddys name is dan!

ava: oh my .. me soo embarassed i have to pee now. ( runs to potty)

mommy- me love you and you are so beautiful and me love your skin and you smell like butter and jelly and thats my favorite.

me supposed to eat a sandwich right now...

 me missed you!
 me do it!
 jack following me!
 vava hug!
 baby snuggle me.
 ruff ruff so scary
 ocean! cold! nope!
 daddy fix it
 oh ella! oh me.....
 come mommy kitchen..snack me hungry.. ouch tummy empty
sausage!!!! bacon!!!! breakfast! yes! oh wow
flop flop. shoes!
rub it ( stir it)
shake ( salt)

 "oh mommy your legs are so soft - me love them mommy."

ava: (after i strongly encouraged her to try and go potty before bed)
"thats it- im pulling up my undies. ( folds arms) ava is done with this business!!!!"

 "Oh me....shaking her little head..."
after i see her mess and say Oh Ella!!!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

oh just a few

these days are flying by and there is so much i want to remember- but i can seem to find the minutes to write it as i want it written.. so jotting it down will have to do... because really i dont ever want to forget...

ellas sweet little lips that stay pursed for so long after she says "uh oh"... and "me toooo"

the way avas face lights up with she runs down the stairs in the morning and sees our faces...

jacks tilt of the head and floppy hair and raised eyebrows when he asks for a " story about that"....

the elaborate imaginary play ava leads....

the sound of little feet and ellas voice saying " ruunnn" over and over...

how all 3 always want a kiss & a hug before anyone leaves the house...

how they can pick out the sound of daddys motorcycle pulling into the driveway...

ellas developing sense of humour and mischievous grin...

the singing and the stories and the love that just pours and pours and pours out.

 dont want to forget.

Monday, June 3, 2013

locked out

one of Jacks favorite things is making sure all the cabinet doors..bathroom. extra room doors are tightly shut... he calls it his job....

this morning - after a yucky naptime accident.. i ran a pretty especially gross trash bag to the bin.. the second i stepped on to the porch - jack slammed the screen- locked it! and slammed  & locked the front door.


talked to him through the window.. encouraged him to turn the doorknob and open the doors for mama- but my little Jack kept insisting- " I dont have a key!!" " but mommy- you never gave me a key!!!"

my mom ran over from next door ( and photo documented/..)  but neither of us had a spare screen door key.....

so finally-

got in.. opened the door... meanwhile- jack had another accident... and continued to insist innocence because

 " no one never ever gave me a key mommy!!!!!"

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

defender of the faith

before Jack was born - the Lord heard my heart and gave me a picture for my son. He called him a "defender of the faith" and said all my children have the word "change' written on their foreheads. 
this word was confirmed 3 times! by 3 different unconnected men of God. 

i pray these words over jack every day - He knows what God calls him....

today after dropping ava off at school - jack and ella and i went on a little starbucks date...  while we were sitting there- a nicely dressed friendly man gave us lots of attention.. as we were leaving... i was holding ella and jacks shoe slipped off.. the nice man- knealt down and helped put his shoe on! while the man was eye level with jack -jack looked right at him and said.." you know, we all broke Jesus' heart.... yeah we did.. we broke his heart ... but you know what guy??? Jesus' heart is happy now! Hes alive in heaven and Hes waiting for us!!" (i had to translate alittle bit) and this man.. had tears in his eyes- and said he needed to write that down.. he grew up in the church but it had been a long time since he remembered that Jesus was waiting for him...even said he almost didnt stop for coffee today! Gods appointment...

i hugged jack when we got to the car and said how proud i was of him for sharing about jesus and my precious boy just looked at me and said "?  why mommy - what me do? me just telling the guy that jesus loved him thats all. did me make you happy?"

my defender of the faith. jack sullivan johnson. 2 1/2 years old.

**ever since easter time- jack has been soo sensitive to Jesus on the cross... and the phrase " we broke Jesus' heart" is something he came up with on this own after our multiple attempts to explain his sadness over the crucifixion..."

Monday, April 29, 2013

oh love

last night ava  & jack spent a lonngg time hugging and kissing goodnight.. 
( an attempt to delay??) 
its was the sweetest time though.. so we let them kiss and snuggle alittle extra..... 
finally.. after bedtime prayers (again..)  
ava blew jack  a kiss and said
"good night sweet boy see you in the morning light!!!" 
my heart.. i cant take it.... im so pleased that in spite of my shortcomings...
 our home is filled with joy and love. 

Ava - 3 1/3:
loves to be the boss (weird.)
is extremely sensitive to any little change in my voice. 
has a pile of toys but seems to only ever play with pillows & blankets, crayons & paper..
& imagination!
she has her own imaginary house filled with friends and toy and all sorts of wonderful things....
we often play imaginary board games. 
loves to feel the wind and sing her own songs
ava knows the story of her birth and how God told spoke to me and called her a fierce warrior... 
and she prays.. and asks the Lord to make her strong- to help her hear His voice...
{humbly and awesome}
this past sunday -she asked me to go to the altar with her - so we did and she prayed for her little boo boos and for her family and then she prayed that Pop ( pastor grampa!) 
would" hear the holy spirit and that the church would listen to his words with both ears...."
said amen and danced back to her seat. 
i feel so incredibly thankful that the Lord in trusted this gem to me.

Jack 2 1/2:
knows what he wants and usually gets it!!!
uses his blue eyes to his advantage... im scared .
favorite thing is to snuggle on the couch ad watch "something good"
usually veggie tales.
has an incredible eye for detail...notices when any one is wearing something new.
if i wear lipstick he says over and over how beautiful my lips are. <3 p="">
wants to be just like daddy.. always trying to fix something.
is sensitive to the things of God.. since palm sunday has daily talked about Jesus on the cross
( in a very sad and worried voice) 
is just now being to understand that Jesus died for him... and is Alive in heaven.
newest interest- ANTS! will chase them around for hours and then will sit and make up a story of their life.... ( thanks to pop and his anthony the ant stories..)
loves to worship and give kisses and hugs. 
defender of the faith! 

Ella- 1 1/2:
oh little firefly
loves to get into everything! has a strong personality! 
loves to help me make coffee in the morning and will blow on it through out.. 
take great pleasure in tormenting jack by putting her little feet on him
loves to hug and kiss and say AWWWW
still nurses 4 or 5 times a day and i dont mind a bit
walks around like an old lady stomping.. then looks back and smiles mischievously 
loves to say uh oh. is really the funniest little girl ever.
and if allowed will run out the front door and march right on over to gigi and pops house...
understands everything i say and is my bright spot for sure.
God calls her a warrior of peace. 
cant wait to learn what that means for her...

all 3 littles love to be bare foot just like mama! and would roll around in the grass all day...
in fact- thats the plan today! 
born to be wild! wild & precious.
wild & precious & free.

Friday, April 26, 2013

go fish

spent a quiet afternoon with Ava, sitting on a picnic blanket in the living room.. eating snacks.. and learning and playing "go fish"! wasn't sure how she would do.. she loved the game!! and caught on so quickly!! my favorite thing was:
'ava do you have a t-rex?'
" actually mommy, i do!"
'ava do you have a bractiosaurus?'
"unfortunately , i don't mommy... GO FISH!"

the sweetest game. the sweetest afternoon. the sweetest 3 yr old girl ever.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

so its been a few weeks....heres some highlights:

- i turned 33! and I'm loving it. i feel happy and confident and beautiful and blessed and ready for whats next. ( totally opposite of how i felt at 23!)

- tattoo!!! the sandman surprised me and took me to get a tattoo for my birthday! i got an arrow on my wrist to remind me of the miracles God has given me.. in the arrow is a circle for leah - a heart for ava - a square for jack and a diamond for my bright spot ella.   the psalm says- children are like arrows in the hands of a warrior... and i want to be reminded to shape my blessing well- so they fly!!
loving it.

- cowboy jack woke up and decided to wear undies and pee on the little potty! and its been a month and counting!! very few accidents.. no more diapers!! holla!

daily the Lord has been pulling me towards him - and as i let my guarded heart open - man - God is doing amazing things... speaking to me of the plans He has for me and my family.. reminding me of the promises Hes already whispered in my ear.. my rescued - salvaged - mended heart sings and rejoices in the redemptive power of Jesus! there is power in His name!

just little things

ava and i arrived early for speech.. So we sat in the van and discussed why mommys hair is growing do slow and whether or not we should cut it ( ??? ahhhhhh!) and why nail polish chips and looks " gross- arific" .. It was insightful.

Was trying to answer Ava's questions about why Jesus went on the cross for us....
and Ava went cross eyed & said 
"that makes my brain wiggly. Tell me that again when me 4 or 7.."

Ava: jack you are a boy cause Jesus decided that you are a boy. And no one can change Jesus' mind. He's the boss. So sorry- you are a boy.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


dear victory girl-
 you are 18 months old! and such a joy.
you are walking and almost running! you love to dance and bend down to do yoga... if you hear the word exercise you start to reach for the sky and touch your toes!!!
you weigh 23 lbs.. and are 33 inches tall!
favorite foods: eggs.. applesauce..oatmeal.. toast! potatoes..white and sweet!
love to read books and pretend to read out loud in your little jabber...
words most often used:
 mamaaa, dadneee, vava, jaaa, gigi, papa, more, cracker, hi, , uh oh ( with beautiful pursed lips) baby, apple, thankyou, hereyougo, thereitisss, bue, car, vrooom, show, ummm( milk) & love you!
 - you love to walk up to people and hold our your arms and say AWWWWWW.. your cue to be hugged.

favorite games are - stacking stuff....peek a boo, baby, tea party, and putting your rain boots on and off on and off on and off..
if you see me putting lipstick on - you run to get your shoes.. thinking its a signal that we are going out.

you are turning out to be a fresh girl!!! love to torture jack .. putting your little toes on him and laughing a big ol belly laugh when he gets upset....

ella, you are wise beyond your years and very observant...quick to fold your hands and pray.. quick to go grab the broom if something spills, compassionate to crys and boos... quick to comfort.

my prayer for you these days is that your determination will always be  strength for you not a hindrance.. that your spirit will cling to peace.
 love you ella victory. my gift.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

today i am siting here at my desk dining room table, surrounded by stacks of unpaid bills
(a sudden and unexpected huge! expense from Ava's occupational therapy...slightly freaking out about that..) 3 loads of clean
 ( hurrah) but unfolded laundry and the cheerful and powerful sound of the 3 little running around fighting imaginary bad guys with the "sword of the Lord and of gideon"!!  thank you veggie tales...  dinner in on the stove- waiting for the Sandman to come home...and my heart is overwhelmed with the faithfulness of the Lord.. the miracles He does.
my spirit is just being flooded today with psalm 136:4...
            to HIM alone who does great wonders!!! 

praising Him today for hearing my hearts cry and triple blessing my empty womb 3 years in a row...

and praising and rejoicing for my sweet sisterfriend who is carrying a new life! (finally!)
our God knows our name! and hears our hearts! 
He repairs the damaged! 
He rescues our hearts and gives us songs to sing! 
 oh Lord thank you for seeing my ugliness and still pouring life water down my parched throat. 
You alone God.. You alone. 

so thankful today.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

challenged. whats invading your spirit

so this morning a kids princess show was on and i was getting breakfast.. 
ava asked me a few times to change the channel but i was in the middle of eggs and just didnt get in  fast enough... 
soon i hear loud singing and jack and ella protesting and walked in to the living room to see ava singing 

" no sweeter name than the name of Jesus"
.. and waving her arms in front of the tv... 

after i asked what in the world.. she calmly and matter of factly replied.

 "actually mommy, jesus made me to tell people that pretend magic is ok but real magic is not. and this show is not pretend. it makes me tummy hurt and me didnt want the kids.( jack & ella) to learn about it. so me sang them a song and waited for you. "

i changed the channel. 

and we prayed together- and my sweet 3 year old asked Jesus to take that show out her mind and out of the "kids" minds. 

oh Ava im so sorry for not being more sensitive to the things that are invading your spirit.. 

Thank you Lord for hearing my hearts cry and binding my babies hearts to Yours.. for letting them hear Your voice... 

May You continue to speak Your will over Avas life and the call You have already placed upon her heart. 

challenged. totally.

like arrows in the hands of a warrior..our children need to be shaped well....

oh Lord- forgive me and lead me

Monday, February 18, 2013

they say

"When I was a star in the sky I thought about what mommy I want and picked you mommy. And i ask Jesus and he said yes and then I did it for daddy to - I picked you."
-ava- 3 1/2

Dan asked jack " what would Jesus do?" ( sharing ) and jack said "I don't know! Me never met that guy before!"

Ava i love when you hug with eyes closed " cause that what people do" and when you give out "married kisses'' ( a pursed lip- slow smooch sound included kiss to the cheek - cause ava doesnt do lips.. soo funny)

Jack you have the sweetest sleepy smell.. I love to bury my face in your soft skin and smile as you say don't sniff my smell up you ll waste it!

Saturday, February 16, 2013


oh i love this Christmas ( valentines..) Mommy!!

you mean valentines day?!
 no i mean this Christmas.. i know all about Christmas mommy.. and this is it... presents and love .. and snow and red and love and love and love so there! it IS Christmas... and me LOVE it......


JACK upon waking up said wheres my treat mommy? wheres my love treat.? opens his goodie bag of little toy fire engine and book  and movie.. no mommy.. .. no { shaking head}.. dont you love me as much as a cupcake??? then wheres MY CUPCAKE???

so i made cinnamon rolls.

Friday, February 8, 2013


i have a restless spirit.
my soul has found rest in our mighty God but my spirit?... 
my spirit is restless... 
restless for wind and rain and crashing waves...wanting to go explore.. to discover....

i crave the ocean. its as if my body belongs there.. the ebb and flow of the water.. the crashing of the waves.. the calm before a storm .. the salt, the air and mist- the sand. 

i need it. i connect to it. its a part of me... 

and in the same way my spirit is  restless for the flooding of the Holy Spirit. 
for the ebb and flow of the Voice of the Lord.. for the waves and the calm.. 
 the ocean will never satisfy.. 
 but the Spirit can- i will long always for more... 

nothing else will do.

we are getting ready for a big ol' blizzard .. 30+ inches!!! 
plans include.. coffee... cupcakes....valentines crafts.. and veggie tales...


A: sometimes me don't sometimes me did. Depends on if its.. Thursday or not.

J: hey sisters.. Mommy made sausage for me cause me her little boy, And chicken for you cause you are girls and you have feathers.

 "oh mommy..oh no.. me turned this on ( holding my watch ..) why me do that? why me touch your beautiful watch mommy? me not want to cause you wont like it but my hands are just going crazy touching it...'

Ella is my peaceful spot. She gets me.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


sang a new song during worship this sunday.. "God my Rock" {paul beloche}...some of the lyrics say 
'when my heart is overwhelmed i will look to you alone God my rock... you strenthgen my heart.. you are the joy of my life.. my song in the night.. in the blessing and in the pain throughit all you still strenghten my heart. god my rock god my rock god my rock...'

have so much swirling in my spirit this morning...
 could weigh me down hardcore but this song is on repeat in my head... 
strengthening my heart bigtime. 

saying "I trust you Jesus" just slips out of my mouth but is alittle more stubborn as it leaves my spirit.. why is it so hard to trust a God who never fails? 
why am i such a silly girl doubting his perfect plan? 

feeling lonely but not alone today.
-yet everytime i say it - i can feel my spirit grow more sure..
 'Jesus i trust in you .. i trust in you .. i trust in you.... 

Monday, February 4, 2013

dont forget

Ava wanting to have our usual before dinner  dance party in the kitchen. but first!!! carefully .. and i mean carefully applied pretend Lipstick to our lips... then pronounced us ready to dance...

Jack was in time out for pushing Ava.. & Ava comforted him by crooning.. "avas here.. avas here.. i forgive you avas here..mommys so fresh mommys so fresh time out is almost over...(repeat)...."

Ava announcd one night tht she wanted to go to a dinosour museum... 
then quickly
 ( in the same breath) said 
"i changed my mind about seeing Dinosours mommy... And i don't want to talk about it....And I'm  not giving up. ..Where'd me learn that?? ...Weird..."

Ava: after hearing my sigh.. said " i know how you feel mommy.. i have alot of kids too...."

Ava: "where are you going to milk Ella mommy? im trying to get a good seat"

"Me love your squishy soft boobs mommy,  me love touching two boobs cause mostly they used to be mine."

Jack upon me waking him for doc.. "So rude mommy. I don't understand you."

Ava: "jack sure does love tubas" after jack asked to watch veggie tales episode gideon and the tuba army for the 100 time....

oh i just love

When Ella pushes my hair out of my face after I do hers.

How she sweetly asks for more milk..signing and saying "mo?" and poins to .. the milk..

How she walks around with her tongue out...just to be fresh

How when she gets a snack the first thing shes does is fold her hands to pray and then always..always.. finds a chair and pushes it to table to sit and eat...kicking her feet happily.

How when its naptime she looks around for her baby and purses her lips  for kisses

how she hugs fiercely and dances to her own beat.

oh ella- our peaceful gift. i love you


Ava: mommy.. What did the broom eat for dinner?


Um mommy? That's a joke.. Ill tell you again then you can laugh.....

After I laughed... Ava followed it up with ..
Glasses eat eyes.. And fans eat light bulbs.
She's a gem.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

J: ok mommy ill pick up me toys and ill fly if I can..!

Ava: mommy oh my gosh the coolest thing ever... I actually do fly like a real bird....

mommy: Ava you have alot  to say kid.. Ava: Yes Jesus gave me too many words

J: hey guys stop banging! Daddy tell your guys I'm sleeping! Pleaaasssseee thank you- your welcome...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Jack is just about 2 1/2.. And he's just.. So sweet and so quick to kiss... And if his lips don't line up just right with yours he kisses again and again till its just right..

But my cowboy jack has a newly discovered temper...this boy is scrappy!
But when he uses his powers for good-
He loves to pretend he's "fireman" (Spider-Man) and act like superman... Loves to wear his cowboy hat and pretend to lasso the girls.

His best friend in the whole wide world is pop. And every nap ends with him in his crib just talking to his pop!

Jack loves his food. Loves to get his little snack cup and sit at his table. Or " watch a show and eat a snack .. On couch?! Yes good idea Jackboy!"

He says:
'Thank you, your welcome'
'Uh guys what are you doing guys?'
" cmere me want to show you sumpi'
Good morning mommy! Me think me will have some... Milk today....
This is tasty!

When Jackboy laughs he covers his mouth. To cute.
And frequently walks around with in hand in the pocket of his jeans.
Holds his hands while lounging.
Loves to snuggle right in.
Playing baseball with daddy is top of his list .
He's growing so fast.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Wish it could be easy-Why is life so messy
Why is pain a part of us-There are days I feel like
Nothing ever goes right-Sometimes it just hurts so much

But You're here - You're real
I know I can trust You
Even when it hurts -Even when it's hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to You
Cause I know that You are
Lover of my soul-Healer of my scars
You steady my heart 

I'm not gonna worry-I know that You got me
Right inside the palm of your hand
Each and every moment-What's good and what gets broken
Happens just the way that You plan

And I will run to You
And find refuge in Your arms
And I will sing to You
Cause of everything You are
You steady my heart 

~kari jobe - steady my heart

Monday, January 7, 2013


You know that perfectly cozy moment when you wake up all warm and toasty.. Your sandmans arm is just right wrapped around you.. Sigh....

Then he slips out to go make coffee and work out..and you roll over and spread out and it's great...sigh

Then you feel delicious sleep creeping in..

Then he hands you crying Ella...
Then you hear Ava's feet running to you
Then Jacks little voice calling mamaaaaaa

And you slip out of bed into the cold ... Snuggle some babies down the stairs...
he hands you your coffee and glasses.

And then joy seeps in . Joy abundant

Yeah- that just happened. And I'm choosing joy...