Saturday, March 29, 2008

Easter

It's a week late, but I'm finally getting to my Easter post, which means I am finally caught up! Yay!

So, last Saturday, we had a little Easter party with some friends. We played some games, ate a potluck dinner, then did an Easter egg hunt for all our little kids. The hunt was by far the highlight for Chance. But before I get to that, I have to tell you the funniest thing Chance did. He had a piece of fruit that he was eating, but accidentally dropped it into the sand. Undeterred, he quickly picked it back up and popped it into his mouth. A couple minutes later Eric handed him a piece of cucumber, he took it, then leaned over and dipped it into the sand before putting it into his mouth. Sand- his new favorite dip! Seriously, this boy and his love of sand is unbelievable!


Here are most of the kiddies, just waiting for us to say go before racing off to collect their eggs. Chance was really anxious and excited, even though I don't think he really knew what was going on. He was too little for last year's egg hunt to even get out of the stroller.
I loved how he just hooked his basket on his shoulder and was so happy!

This is how he kept his balance while putting the eggs in his basket.

When I look at these pictures he looks so old to me- like a little boy, not a baby.

And then he discovered there was good stuff inside!!
Here are all the kids going through their loot. I love how you can see Eli behind Chance, with Chance's basket in his lap. Chance and Eli were good at sharing with each other... ;)
We really enjoyed this little get together and had a fun time with everyone. We also really enjoyed Easter Sunday by going to church and being spiritually fed. We are truly so grateful for our Savior, for his sacrifice and resurrection.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Fireside

A couple of Sunday's ago, we had two awesome firesides on the temple grounds. The first was two accappella groups from BYU which were excellent. We thourougly enjoyed their music. The second was a man that had gone to Africa, and he had some very interesting and thought provoking things say. It was a really great evening of being spiritually uplifted. As soon as we walked out the doors to come home, the sun was setting, so we had to spend a few minutes to take it all in. The temple looked so beautiful all lit up with a rich blue sky behind.
And the sunset itself was, as always, gorgeous. It's a great view for a sunset, overlooking San Francisco and the golden gate bride off in the distance.

Chance had a good time just riding on Daddy's shoulder's, where he had easy access to the glasses, and liked moving them around on Eric's face. :)

Even though I already have a ton of night shots of the temple, I just can't help myself. It is so beautiful!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hiking

I love how everything gets so green around here during the winter months. In Jan. and Feb. it's really green, unfortunatley it's already starting to turn brown. :( But we went for a little hike at the beginning of March, close to our home and it was still really green, I was loving it! It is so pretty! The rolling hills really remind me of England. We went at the perfect time to see the sunset, which is always a treat.





Once we got to the top and let Chance out of the backpack, one of the first things he did was sit down on the trail and started playing in and eating the dirt. He just loves it! We're still waiting for him to grow out of the dirt eating phase. ;)

Such a sweet face with a yucky mouth full of mud!

It's a great view from the top!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Biking

Eric got this bike trailer for Christmas, and has since taken Chance out riding with him a few times. But we thought it would be fun to try it out with 2 kids riding. So we went out biking with with some friends at the beginning of March, here are the little munchkins enjoying a snack. They seemed to like it pretty well. Though halfway through they were getting a little antsy. So we stopped at a park to let them play for a little bit.
After we had our little break, the boys did great. One reason might be that Eli had a helmet on to begin with, and we think it kept bonking Chance in the head. So, we took off the helmet for the second half, and I think Chance was much happier about that. We need to buy Chance a helmet, then they can bang heads the whole time and not feel a thing.
We had a fun time riding the back trail in Lafayette. And can you believe with the husband I have that I don't even own a bike!? So, thanks Bryan and Haley for letting me borrow a bike! :)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Chinese New Year Parade

On Feb 23rd, we decided to face the rain and the crowds and head down into San Francisco for the big celebration. We got down there a little early and found shelter behind a building while we ate dinner and waited for the parade to start. As soon as it did start both Chance and his buddy Eli were a little frightened by the loud noises and fire crackers going off. But eventually the firecrackers stopped, and they were able to enjoy it a little better.

We saw all sorts of fun things. Here we were being introduced to what I assume will be the olympic mascots this year in Bejing. Don't they totally look Japanese!
Of course there were tons of dragons running around- which were probably my favorite.

The setting for the parade was so beautiful with the Ferry building at the top of the street.
Our friends the Taylor's came along, and we had a great time with them.

And it was nice to have someone we knew to take a family picture for us, instead of me trying to find some place to set the camera on and do it myself. ;)
So, Happy Year of the Rat- as you might be able to tell from the makeup.

These last 2 pictures were a couple of my favorites. As it got darker, the lights got more brilliant and the parade seemed more magical.
Unfortunately, just as it seemed to be getting really good, it was time for us to go.
So, we jumped back on the BART and hurried to church, and made it just in time for the adult session of Stake Conference. It was a busy but very fun evening!

Monday, March 17, 2008

18 months old!


Chance turned 18 months old last week and we had an appointment with his developmental specialist doctor. Here are the stats on how he is doing:
  • weighs 20.6 pounds
  • measures 30 1/4 inches tall
  • he walks!!! finally!! the day before our doctor's appt. Chance decided he had enough crawling and is just walking now. The way he walks is a very good impression of Frankenstein! :)
  • is caught up with his birth age in motor skills
  • is still at his gestational age regarding language- although he babbles all day long, he isn't saying many actual words, so we'll keep our eye on that
  • successfully weaned from his binky, except at nap and bed times
  • has started time outs (I know, I probably should have started sooner)
  • has 8 teeth, 4 on top and 4 on bottom
  • has gone to nursery for 3 weeks now and was able to stay there without mom and dad for a whole 45 minutes yesterday, which is much better than the 15 minutes we got last time.
  • and has just become so fun and interactive- we absolutely love and enjoy having him around, he makes us laugh and keeps us entertained!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Grandpa's Funeral

So, I was supposed to fly home from Utah, the night of Feb 7th, but plans changed a little. Eric's grandpa passed away that same evening and at first, we thought that the funeral wouldn't be until the middle of the next week. So, Chance and I were sitting at the gate in the airport waiting for our plan to arrive, it had been delayed by 20 minutes, which I was actually grateful for, when all of a sudden I heard over the loud speaker, "will the passenger Camille Johnson please report to the podium?" I thought it had something to do with my ticket, or having Chance along, but I was quite surprised to find out that I had a phone call! So, I get on the phone and a very serious deep male voice says "Mrs. Johnson, this is the airport police, we have your husband on the line, can we patch him through?" That's when my heart skipped a beat- oh no, I thought, something has happened to Eric! I told the officer that of course he could put my husband on the line, and as soon as I heard Eric's voice I asked, "honey, what's wrong, are you okay?" Eric told me he was completely fine, nothing was wrong, it was just the only way they would transfer him over to the gate. He explained that he had been trying to page me over the airport intercom for 15 minutes before finally giving up. (I never heard a single page) And then he called a different line and told them he needed to be transferred to my actual gate. At first the person said they couldn't do that, but after Eric explained that it was a family emergency and he needed to talk to me before I got on my flight, then they finally consented. So, Eric told me the funeral plans for Grandpa had been scheduled for the coming weekend and Eric was thinking of flying out for it if I could rearrange my flight to stay longer. Thankfully, Southwest gave me the credit for the cost of my flight so I could reschedule my flight out. Next I called my parents who had just barely arrived home from dropping me off, and I asked if they could come back and pick me up. My mom was very enthusiastic- "of course," she said, "we'll be there in 20 minutes." So, my luggage was pulled off the plane, a very nice gentleman driving around one of the carts, gave me a ride back to the front of the airport, and my parents met me at the curb.
Eric flew in a couple days later, we rented a car and drove 3.5 hours to Rexburg for the funeral. We are so glad that we were able to be there for the funeral. The services were very nice, and it was just nice to be with family at that time.


Here are some of the pictures that I took at the grave site service.
Grandpa was a WWII veteran so he was given a farewell salute and the traditional playing of Taps. It is always very stirring to hear that song.
The soldiers folded up the flag that had been resting on Grandpa's casket and gave it to Grandma.
Eric was given the middle name of Gerald after his grandpa. It is a great namesake to have and a good example of what to be like.
Grandpa was a great man, very kind and gentle, slow to anger and full of love. He was a selfless man, giving a lot of service and working as a patriarch in the church for many, many years. We will miss him.
Pictured is Eric with his sisters and some cousins. After the services ended they let us select a few flowers, from the many arrangements, to dry and keep in remembrance.
Grandma is doing fine thankfully. A good word to describe her is "strong." She has been through a lot in her life and has always managed to pull through with a smile and faith in the Lord that all will be okay. She has got a lot of life and spunk in her and we expect her to be around for awhile longer! :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

President and Sister Bennett

The first day I met President and Sister Bennett was as a missionary, on May 28th 2002- my first day in Chile. I remember seeing their picture for the first time and being struck by what a young and handsome couple they were! Well, as I got to know them, I quickly found out they are just as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside. They picked us up from the airport and I rode back to mission home in their car. Pres. Bennett will probably laugh about this, but I remember thinking how fast and crazy he was driving. But I soon realized that he was just driving like everyone else on the rode! :) I never got the experience of driving over there, but I was told, that the safest way to drive is to blend in and drive like the other cars. It was a great introduction to Chile and the many other differences that I would soon experience. After a year and a half, my mission was done. My parents came to pick me up and we traveled around Chile for a week or two. We stopped by the mission home to say one final good-bye to President and Sister Bennett. I was leaving as a much different person than the one they had first met, and a great deal of that was because of their influence. They were such great examples to me of what I wanted to be like. This picture was taken Sept. 22 2003, the last time I saw them... until last month!
After the Bennett's finished their mission, within a year they moved to Utah, and happened to move only 20 minutes away from where my parents live. Well, it seems like every time we go to Utah it is always jammed packed with things to do with our families. But, I had a little extra time on this trip, and so I called up the Bennett's to see if they would be available for me to visit. For some reason, I was so nervous to see them again. I felt like I was going in for an interview! But as soon as Pres. Bennett opened the front door, he gave me a huge hug, and so did Sister Bennett. Just seeing them, I immediately felt at peace. I love them both so much. During my mission, they were always a strength to me. Their words inspired and motivated me. And I felt their love and knew they supported me. While I was visiting with them again, my heart was overflowing with emotion and gratitude for them. They are truly wonderful people and I could not have asked for a better mission Mom and Dad! :) While visiting with them on Friday, February 8th, I again felt their love towards me and their interest in my life and my family. Even with all the years that have passed I felt at home with them, like we hadn't skipped a beat in our friendship.

And Chance, who is normally very shy and reluctant to go to anyone, even warmed up to them and let them hold him! All it took was them playing cars and blocks with him for a few minutes. It was so cute to see Pres. and Sister Bennett playing with Chance.
I am so glad I finally got to visit the Bennett's again. It was so fun to talk to them about the mission, and relive some memories. It was also fun to hear how their family is doing and to be amazed at how big their kid have gotten! I love that Bennett family and can't wait to take Eric to meet them the next time we are in Utah!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Birthday Celebrations

On Feb 2nd we had a surprise birthday party for my father in law! He didn't suspect a thing and was completely surprised! It was great.

This is a big year for him... the big Six-oh! :) My mother in law isn't too far behind- she'll turn 60 in April!

We were so glad we could be there for the party. Since it is in the middle of Eric's busy season we have never been able to make it out before.

Then, later on that same evening, we celebrated our niece Hannah's 3rd birthday. Chance had a good time playing on the train table with his cousins.

Poor Hannah had gotten a black eye by falling, just a few days before her party. So she has a real nice shiner for all her pictures!

The one year old's and the daddy's.

The next day, Eric flew home to get back to work. We were lucky that he could even get away for those 2.5 days in the middle of busy season. But I figured that since I was out there I might as well make the most of it and stay a couple more days. So, on Tuesday Feb 6th, the night before I was going to fly home, I put Chance to bed and left my dad to babysit while us girls went out to a movie. It's always fun to have a girls night out!

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