Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

This evening as my family sits in front of a warm fire surrounded by Christmas decorations and reading the miracle of Christ's birth in the scriptures, I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I hope we can all take the time to read about the birth of our Savior and remember how blessed we are to have the knowledge of the gospel in our lives.

Merry Christmas, may God bless us everyone!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Birthday Bashes

December is a big month of celebration for our family. Besides the many holidays, we also celebrate the births of Luke, Kenn, and my mom Diann.
Kenn and Luke always get their birthdays celebrated together because Luke's birthday is on December 1st, and Kenn's birthday is on December 2nd (Luke was just 3 hours shy of being born on Kenn's birthday). Kenn and Luke celebrated their 36th and 7th birthdays respectively this year.
The story of Luke's birth always makes me smile (although I sure wasn't smiling at the time). He was born on a snowy Saturday. Kenn was at work at KSL for a BYU football game. I was home with Alexa (4 years old) and Jake (one year old). My contractions started at about 6 o'clock at night. Kenn couldn't get home, my parents weren't answering their phones, and I couldn't get a hold of any neighbors. My contractions were coming fast and hard (I thought for sure I was going to have to give birth in the bathtub). My parents finally got my desperate message and came straight to my house (bringing my brother Eric with them). Eric stayed with the kids and my parents took me to Lakeview hospital (after getting the van stuck in a snow bank). We arrived at the hospital about 8:30 P.M. A nurse checked me in, and left to call for the doctor. My water broke and I delivered soon thereafter. Luke was born at 8:56 P.M. My dad held my hand, my mom tried to take a few pictures (and cut the umbilical cord), and the nurse delivered my baby. Kenn missed the whole thing (but they did announce Luke's birth on the radio- which the doctor happened to be listening to on his way to the hospital). Everything went fine after that, and Luke came home from the hospital happy and healthy.
I would love to post some pictures of Luke and Kenn over the years, but our whole house is currently boxed up in a storage unit (something to look forward to next year).
For their birthday celebration this year, we had dinner at my parents house and invited Kenn's grandma, dad and brother over for dinner, dessert and presents.
Kenn's birthday present was our house (I know pretty exciting). Luke got some pretty cool presents- Perfection game, race car, Iron man pajamas, Transformer stuff, Legos, and a tumble car (which promptly broke 5 minutes after the kids started playing with it).

We celebrated my mother's 65th birthday tonight. She received calls/visits from all eight children, plus my grandfather and some aunts. We made her dinner of beef enchiladas, salad, vegetables, and homemade gingerbread with fresh whipped cream.
My dad gave mom a new video camera, and we gave her a Nativity Christmas ornament (my mother collects different Christmas ornaments so it has become our traditional present to her). She also received some plants, wind chimes, pictures, and other things.
My parents are now both officially senior citizens.
We could only find 25 candles to put on the cake,
But there sure was a lot of smoke and melted candle wax!

I love my parents so much. I will never be able to express my gratitude for all they have done for me and taught me throughout my life. Happy Birthday Mom, we love you!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Black Friday

I have to admit that I love Black Friday, waking up before the break of dawn, standing in line in the crisp morning air (and freezing), planning my strategies, and most of all the joy of the hunt (I am a sucker for a good deal). Hey what can I say, I am doing my part to help out the economy in these hard times.
My sister Monique and I have been doing this for years (starting almost 10 years ago before the popularity of cell phones- we would use 2 way radios to talk to each other in different parts of the store while grabbing the hot ticket items).
Probably the most memorable Black Friday for me was in 2001 when I was nine months pregnant (one week before I delivered), it was freezing cold and snowing, and I had to drag my 4 year old and 1 year old kids around with me. We ended up buying so much stuff (and really heavy things) that we ended up carrying the kids and filling up the stroller with all our items (we weren't able to get a shopping cart and though I was pregnant with small children, that didn't give me any sort of advantage- nobody cares about that stuff on Black Friday, it's every man for himself). I made it to 4 different stores that year, and vowed I will never take kids with me again (luckily they are old enough to leave at home now).
This year was pretty mild in comparison to previous seasons. The weather wasn't too bad, but stores are starting their sales earlier and earlier. This year we started at Kohls (which opened at 4 o'clock in the morning- meaning we were there in line by 3:30 A.M.). I didn't even end up getting anything at Kohls, so I was kind of bummed that I lost an hour of sleep for nothing. After that I headed to Walmart for some toys and clothes. I pretty much got everything that I really wanted (luckily I didn't need anything in the electronics section like Monique did, because that is where the real action/violence was). Most people were enjoying themselves, but there were a few that tried to elbow their way to the front of the lines. Some people were upset and yelling. I even accidentally bumped into a woman with my shopping cart and when I apologized, she yelled at me to watch where I was going and then shoved my cart. To all those people who don't shop for fun or have manners, I say poo to you and stay home!!! The two other stores I visited after that were pretty uneventful and even enjoyable (how can you not enjoy yourself while dining on donuts and shopping for socks at Smith's Marketplace). Unfortunately I still have a lot of shopping to do, but at least this gave me a good start on things. Happy shopping!
(I stole these pictures from Tawnie's blog, but Monique and I were actually there in this crowd somewhere- and this is exactly what things were like when it hit 5 o'clock at Walmart- crazy I know, but I love it)

Sunday, December 7, 2008


This year Thanksgiving was held at a church with my immediate Lalliss family (about 45 people). I worked the night before, and Kenn worked the morning of Thanksgiving, so things were a little hectic in our house. Prior to the meal, we tried to get all the grandchildren together for a picture (27 kids with the oldest being 17 years old, and the youngest being 7 months old- lets just say it wasn't a pretty sight).

These are probably the 2 best photos we could get
(my favorite part of this picture besides Molly's classic face, is Tasha pretending to shoot herself)

We had a great time with all my favorites- Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, stuffing, rolls, sweet potatoes, fruit salad, cranberry sauce, olives, veggies, a million different drinks, and of course the pies: squash chiffon, banana, chocolate, cherry, apple, lemon cream, chocolate cream cheese, coconut, and a berry apple crisp.
We played games, wrote cards/letters to Scott, and of course mapped out our plan for Black Friday shopping (Monique and I do this every year for some crazy reason- but I will write about that later).
I didn't bring my camera, so I had to steal some pictures from my mom.
(Luke is playing his armpit- I have never been so proud)

(Yes, I do have 4 different pieces of pie on my plate- its Thanksgiving, don't judge me)

I really do have a lot to be grateful for: my husband, my kids, my parents (and their willingness to house my family during our home renovation), my brothers and sisters and their families, my brother Scott's safety while he is serving in Afghanistan, a good job, a nice home (well, when it is finished anyway), my health, friends, the internet (yes, the internet has helped me connect with many friends and some family that I have lost touch with over the last couple years and I have met many great people), and I am especially thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. Without the knowledge of our saviour, I would be lost.
I hope all of you enjoyed your Thanksgiving connecting with friends/family, and were able to take some time to reflect on all your blessings.


Yes I am sorry to admit that I am a Twilight fan. I enjoyed the books (as cheap enjoyable reading), but I am in no way like some of Kenn's cousins i.e. Laura- who live for Edward.
The Johnson girls (Janet, Laura, Emma, Melissa, Aimie, Kara, and I) all got together for dinner, and then saw the movie on opening night (at the Gateway theater where one of Aimie's friends rented the theater and had 500 of her friends attend the premier). Since we were some of the last ones to get our tickets, our seat were on the front row (that kind of sucked). It was fun to be with so many die hard fans, which made the movie even more enjoyable.
I went into the movie with low expectations, so Twilight was actually better than I expected. The storyline was pretty good, the scenery was excellent, but the acting was sub par and the makeup/costumes sucked (Edward's bright red lipstick was a little distracting). Also the characters weren't really the way I pictured them (they should have been breath taking instead of just good looking) and one last pet peeve was the special effects. The running, tree climbing, and especially the meadow scene (you all know what I am talking about if you have read the book or seen the movie) reminded me of some stupid 1980's technology (sorry Laura, but it really did suck and Edward is not as good looking as you think). After all that though, I would still recommend the movie because I am a hopeless romantic.

This is how I picture Edward Cullen in my mind.... sigh.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Annual Lalliss Pie Day

My family has an awesome tradition that we have been doing since I can remember. My mother Diann is an excellent pie maker, and had passed this trait on to her kids. Every year about a week before Thanksgiving, everyone gets together (all the kids and grand kids) and we make pie shells. Then we take our pie shells home and fill them with our favorite pie filling (mine is usually chocolate, banana cream, or squash chiffon) and we bring our pies to Thanksgiving dinner.
The above picture is one of my pie shells this year. Here are some pictures of my kids enjoying our favorite family tradition.


Diaper Free Forever!!

We had some exciting news occur last week. After 11 years, 6 months, and 11 days of changing diapers for four kids (with no breaks in between children), we are now diaper free in the Johnson family. Molly finally got potty trained, and we couldn't be happier (especially with the money we will be saving).

Molly proudly displaying her new princess panties.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Free Photo Album

I know this is last minute, but I thought I would let everyone know about this great deal in case anyone is interested (I know I have a lot of scrapbook friends out there). If you go to and visit Wednesdays show (11/12) you can click on a link for a free 20 page photo book from You must click the link to get your "coupon" before midnight tonight (Friday, 11/14), and the book must be redeemed before Sunday (11/16). Good luck!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dodgers Win!!!

Alexa took up girls softball a couple years ago. She loves the sport and has really gotten pretty good over the past couple seasons (her favorite position is catcher, but she also plays outfield). Last Saturday her team (the Dodgers) played in the final tournament and won 1st place (Alexa even helped score some of the winning runs). We are very proud of her and her accomplishments. Go Alexa!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween

Halloween was very fun this year!!! The kids dug through the dress ups and came up with their own costumes, so there was no stress there. As far as pumpkin carving went- Kenn and I were fine with just leaving them as pumpkins, but the kids begged and begged to make jack-o-lanterns. Finally we gave in and started the whole messy process. Somehow it ended up being Kenn and I cleaning them out, and doing most of the carving while the kids watched and then left to go play (go figure- typical kids).

The kids started out carving the pumpkins
(FYI Alexa can be very dangerous with a knife!)
Kenn finished things up.
The kids with their finished products.

The night before Halloween we went to Tolman Elementary's school carnival (which is LOTS of fun, but always really crowded). We did such activities as a fish pond, spook alley, graveyard golf, sucker pull, batty bingo, and a cake walk (which Luke won a cool spider cake). We even enjoyed fresh popcorn and cotton candy.

Luke with his cake.
The kids and some friends at the carnival.

Halloween night we visited our neighborhood and went trick or treating with our good friends the Smiths. Just going up and down our neighborhood resulted in 4 big buckets of candy (and it was all good candy, not junk candy like I use to get when I was a child). This was the 1st year that Alexa went off with friends rather than staying with us (sad). I do enjoy trick or treating with the kids. We have a great neighborhood with lots of children and everyone watches out for everyone else. One of our neighbors even has hot dogs, chips, juice, hot chocolate, and candy to serve to everyone. It was made even better this year with the warmer weather.

Jake didn't have to go very far out of his way to play a devil this year
Luke ended up being a cute little leopard, again
(although he insisted on having a mustache like Jacob)
Alexa wanted to be a scary vampire, but I think she was more cute than scary
(and I made her get rid of the ugly teeth she was trying to wear).
Molly was a cute little cheerleader- with blood by her mouth just like Alexa
(it was hard of us to see Molly this way because she is in an East High School outfit, and Kenn graduated from West High, and it's red, whereas I support the blue team i.e. BYU)
Kenn has always been a die hard Cubs fan. Since they have not won the world series for over a hundred years now, we decided to honor them.
Here's a sampling of the candy we collected (ugh talk about sugar high)!

Random Pictures from Scott's Visit