Friday, April 30, 2010

What did you do with your tax refund?

We received our federal tax refund and, in addition to putting some in savings, paying off a credit card bill, and donating to our church, we spent it on a few small projects around the house...

A new shower head of the mom and dad (definitely so much better than the old generic one!)

New tile in the half bathroom downstairs (with a hope of doing the same in both bathrooms upstairs this summer). Thanks, Pops!

A new ceiling fan in the living room....finally "Hawaiian Paradise" is gone!

And finally, as where all money is going these days, paying for daycare for these precious angels...

So, what did you spend your tax refund on???

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Trip to the Asheboro Zoo!

Last Friday, my mom and I took the kids to the Asheboro Zoo. We had a great day, weather wise, and they were both so good. Per Brooklyn's instructions, we headed to see the elephants first. We had a great view of them and an even better view when the trainer started feeding them. They came up soooo close.

Posing on the elephant statue....Jake is less than thrilled. :-)

Soooo excited! Jake has no idea what Brooklyn is so happy about.

But then Brooklyn explained the zoo to him, and he got excited.

We spent about 2 hours wandering around "Africa," ate a picnic lunch by the van, and then spent another hour in "North America." By then, around 2pm, Brooklyn was spent and Jake just wanted to be held and snuggled.
Exhibit A:

But all in all it was a great day and I enjoyed spending time with my mom and kids before heading back to the office fulltime this week.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happy Half Birthday, Jake-ster! (2 days late!)

What a busy week in the Johnson house! As mentioned before, our laptop's hard drive just pretty much died and our other computer is multiple years old and VERY slow. Luckily (or not luckily), I started back to work fulltime in the office, and Jake started school this week. It's a good thing I am back to the office because no laptop means no working from home, so I would have had to find alternate plans for Jake anyway. Amazing God's timing, huh? Speaking of timing, Jake's first day of school also fell on his 6 month birthday. WOW! 6 months!

Here's my precious angel on his first day of school/6 month birthday. I [wish I had my old pics of Brooklyn saved to this computer, but looking back], FOUND a picture of Brooklyn in her "first day of school outfit"and it turns out that I dressed her in a pink polo shirt and jeans on her first day of school!

Jake is wearing 12-18 month clothes and size 4 diapers. (Yes, you can lift your jaw up off the floor now.) I don't know exact weight, but he has his doctor's check up next week. I am aware that he is a very big boy (after all, I am the one carrying him around). I am starting to get kinda annoyed when all people talk about is his size. Jake has put a stop to that, though, because he is super friendly, so when people stop and say "OMG, how big!" he just turns and grins that precious smile of his. Then, the conversation turns to "Oh, he is so sweet...look at those beautiful that smile....etc." What a smart boy I have! Working the ladies already!

Jake has had a great first two days of school. He is not napping well (two 30 minute naps), as I had suspected would happen, so he has gone to bed around 6:30pm the last two nights. (I woke him up to eat at 9pm and then he went straight back to sleep.) His teachers are super sweet and said that he ate well and was very friendly, thinking that everything going on around him was absolutely hilarious! He only cried when he was hungry, tired, or when the other babies were crying (he just didn't understand why they were so sad!). Overall, he was very happy both days. Drop off has been easier for me because I have had to also drop off Brooklyn, who at 5 years old (and in the "it's all about me" stage), is a great distraction. I also find it easier the second time just knowing the school, the administration, and the teachers. Everyone knows Brooklyn and has been so supportive and helpful as we have made this adjustment. We have been so fortunate to have been able to keep Jake out of school this long (thanks, Gramma and Aunt Patty!), and we are working it out so that Brooklyn will "graduate" from school the Friday before Memorial Day. Translation = only 5 weeks of having to "rough it" and pay for two kids in daycare. Praise Jesus for that one!

But I digress...this is Jake's birthday post, so I shall continue about this precious face.

Jake still LOVES the exersaucer and activity mat. He also does very well in the stroller (for short times), the baby Bjorn (for longer times), and sleeping on his Gramma, Aunt Patty, Grandpa, and Nanny's shoulders (for even longer times). He can make the "Mmmm" sound and "Ppppppp" sound (including raspberries!). He also has mastered the art of high pitched squeals and shrieks. Sometimes I think he even amazes himself with his volume. He is a happy, relaxed baby 98% of the time. Jake LOVES Brooklyn....he watches her constantly and all she has to do is say, "Hi Buddy" in her "Jake voice" and he erupts in a fit of giggles. I hope that he always looks up to his big sister that way (and that she always provides a good example for him.) Jake also loves when we sing to him. Current favorites are ABCs or Wheels on the Bus...but I found that even Top 40 hits will do in a pinch. :-)

Jake started rice cereal at 4 1/2 months and baby foods at 5 months. I started making his babyfood at home with fresh vegetables, fruits, and the Magic Bullet. I am no fool, though, and when Harris Teeter has some killer sales with coupons, I stock up on jar babyfood as well.

So far, Jake has tried (and liked!):
Sweet Potatoes
Green Beans

He has no preference on temperature or consistency of the food, so that makes feeding baby on the go VERY easy! He is still nursing, and I am pumping during the day. I fear that I am slacking on drinking enough water and my supply is draining a bit, but as Jake supplements with food, I think we will be ok and continue with Jake only drinking breastmilk.
Jake is still swaddled at night, but he breaks free quite easily, so I think that we are nearing the end of that stage. (I think I say this every month.) I was all ready to move him in his bedroom this week, but we had an unfortunate accident with his new ceiling fan when the light fixture fell off the fan in the middle of the night and shattered to the floor. So, needless to say, until that is fixed and I am assured that it will NOT happen again, this little man is staying with ME. I am playing the "this is my last baby" card with Chad as long as I can. :-)

As you can see, I am quite smitten with my precious, teeny baby boy, and I thank God everyday for my family & multiple blessings.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


We currently have a crashed laptop (and apparantly we are not alone!). I hope to get pictures loaded elsewhere so I can talk about my brother's engagement, our trip to the zoo, Jake's first day of school, and his six month birthday post!

McAfee Offers to Pay for PC Repairs After Bad Update
by TechNewsDaily Staff
posted: 26 April 2010 08:03 pm ET

Antivirus software maker McAfee says it will reimburse "reasonable expenses" associated with a bad update last Wednesday that crashed computers worldwide.
The reimbursement will be offered to "impacted home or home office customers who have incurred costs to repair PCs as a result of the security update issue," McAfee said in a statement on its website, and will cover visits to tech support specialists and other repair measures.
Steps for recouping costs associated with computer repairs will be posted on the company's website within a few days, the statement continued.
The reimbursement is just one of several steps the company has taken to minimize the public fallout from last week's mistake.
In addition, the company is also offering to send affected customers a recovery CD via express delivery and to extend their current McAfee subscriptions by two years for free.
The buggy update affected PC users running Windows XP Service Pack 3 and running McAfee VirusScan Enterprise software.
According to McAfee, the update mistakenly identified a crucial system file called "svchost.exe" as a malware virus.
Most of the affected PCs were business machines, but a "small percentage" of home and home office computers were also affected, McAfee said.
A fix went out early the next morning that McAfee said restored most zapped computers.
The fix was quickly followed by a public apology by McAfee official Barry McPherson on the company blog.
"I want to apologize on behalf of McAfee and say that we’re extremely sorry for any impact the faulty signature update file may have caused you and your organizations," he wrote.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Oh, EARLY Baby!

UPDATE: Ryan Winn LeConey was born at 11:00am this morning. Almost 7 pounds and 21 inches long. Congrats, Elizabeth!

One of my awesome fellow blogger mommies, Elizabeth, is in labor today. Her water broke three weeks early and two weeks before her scheduled c-section. She hit full-term and baby said, "I'm outta here!" Just sending up prayers for a great delivery for Elizabeth! Can't wait to see precious "Baby Boy!"

FYI, my "Oh, Baby" list to the right side of the blog is literally getting updated daily, so keep watching. Tis the season for Spring Babies!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Way Back When-esday!

Hi all! Sorry I have been absent the past week....I have traveled to Eden, Huntersville, Durham, Chapel Hill, Welcome, and High Point all in about 8 days! (For those of you unfamiliar with NC geography- that pretty much covers the central third!) I hope to have some great stories and maybe a cute pic or video soon, but for now, here is a Way Back When-esday for you!

Here are the Shout sisters in April of last year. Now, we have two Shout brothers and one more on the way (gender yet to be announced!). From left to right is: Zoe, Brooklyn, Little Allie, Big Allie, and Callie. If you want to see what they look like this month, these are the same cuties from this Easter post.

Happy Way Back When-esday, ya'll!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Easter Morning

Because of our genius Saturday Easter plan, we spent a wonderful Sunday morning opening Easter baskets, making pancakes and bacon, dying eggs, and playing inside and out. Chad even made it to the 11:15am service at church, and we all attended/led the 6:30pm Shout service. It was a beautiful day.

This picture just shows pure joy. Love this girl!

Sibling love.

Dying Easter eggs

The kids with their baskets. Brooklyn is using my childhood basket and Jake has Chad's.
Nothing says Easter like Target clothes, Starburst Jelly beans, and Beechnut Rice Cereal.

Hope you all had a great Easter weekend!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The best kept secret...Easter Saturday!

I think it was last year that we decided that Easter Sunday was just too darn busy so why not celebrate the day before on Saturday afternoon/evening? So, this year we did just that and it was awesome! (It's especially nice when everyone has to go back to work Monday.) We had a great time with the family and some friends at my parents' house.

Brooklyn blowing bubbles with Grandpa hard at work on a chalk Easter egg in the background.

Brooklyn found all her eggs with her Daddy's help.

Wait, there's one more....

Opening her eggs and checking out her loot.

I finally convinced my mom that it was OK that Jake did not participate in the egg hunt this year, since I would be the one having to find the eggs. :) It's a good thing, too. He slept through the whole thing.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The best way to celebrate your 30th birthday? Hold an Easter egg hunt!

You know you're a mama when the highlight of your birthday party is the Easter egg hunt for the kids. We had some friends over Friday evening to celebrate my birthday, Easter, the upcoming arrival of Baby Kyle Kinlaw....etc etc etc. Basically, we will come up with any excuse to have a steak cookout. :-) I threw together a simple egg hunt for the 5 girls, hiding 9 eggs in the yard for each of them. From Allie (age 8) to Callie (age 1), they had a blast.

Brooklyn and her only "big sister," Allie.

"Little" Allie (age 3) with her mama, Caroline, and baby Kyle (38-ish weeks).

Once Callie knew there were tootsie rolls in those eggs, she was on the hunt!

Zoe had a great time, too, and though I hate to admit it, looked adorable in her Duke sundress.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Brooklyn Survey

Tonight I realized that I completely forgot to get Brooklyn's responses for her 5 year old survey. I guessed her answers here, but this evening I asked Brooklyn the questions.
Here are her answers....

Foods- Macaroni and Cheese; Hot dogs; Rice; Corn; Chicken Nuggets, and French Fries
Song- Big Girls Don't Cry (Fergie version)
TV Shows- Dora the Explorer; 18/19 Kids and Counting; Quintuplet Surprise
Movies- Strawberry Shortcake; Potty Time with Bear
Friends- Kate; Sierra; Casey; Eden
Saying- "Can I go outside Mommy?" and "Hiiiiiiiiiiiiii" to Jake
Animal- "that's a hard one...Wolf; Lion; Tiger; Ant Eater"
Restaurant- ["the place where you pick out your own food"] Golden Corral
Book- "the one that you tie your shoe with"
Candy- Smarties; Sweet Tarts; Gum
Drinks- Lemonade
Outfit- Skirts; Dresses; Shirt and Pants
Activities- Guess Who; Playing outside
Colors- "Pink; Purple; Yellow; Blue; Green...I mean all the colors."
Shoes- Flip Flops
Ways to land herself in time out- "Kick and run from mommy and daddy and I am mean."
Bath time activity- "Play"
Breakfast food- Pop tarts

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy 30th Birthday to....


Some people are frightened by the thought of turning 30. Me? Not so much! Having been married since 22 and a mother since 24, I have days where I think, "Really? 30? That's all I am?" I have accomplished a bunch in the 20's. I'm looking forward to the 30's as the decade of "catching up" and "stabilization." :-)

And who could need anything else in life when you have these two precious angels? I have been blessed beyond words, and I thank God for all he has given me my first 30 years. I pray for continued blessings in the next 30.


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