Thursday, September 18, 2008

Home Destruction

It has been a very busy last couple of weeks at our home. Here are the much anticipated pictures of our house in it's current state (actually it is even more destroyed now than the pictures show).

This is our upstairs living room during the move (most of the furniture was already packed at this time).

Here is the after picture, now the living room has a nice view into our former bedroom.

Another view from our living room.

All this area of the former living room, bedrooms, and bathroom will be a big open area that contains a large family room, hall, kitchen (and dining room with the new addition).

This is the former view when you enter our house with the hall closet greeting you. The living room is just off to the left of the picture.

Now you can see straight into the pink and black bathroom (don't worry, that bathroom doesn't exist anymore)

Our former kitchen actually wasn't too bad, but it was really too small once you put a table in the room.

We took all the cabinets out and put them in storage (to use later in our new garage). The former kitchen will become a laundry room (with the washer and dryer where the stove is currently sitting), and some walls will be put up creating a mudroom and half bathroom just off the entry way.

This was our former main bathroom with the original 1950's black and pink decor. The owners before us tried to update the bathroom by putting in linoleum (now rotting), brown and white cabinets, and a light blue counter top. Yeah, it really was as ugly as it sounds (oh and don't forget the lacy grandma curtains above the frosted window and the black flowery wall paper border around ceiling).

Since this picture, the bathroom has expired; now it is just a big open space (with a covered sewer pipe sticking up from the former toilet).

Our downstairs was pretty basic with a very long family room with our computer and toys at one end, and the TV area at the other end (again most of the furniture, pictures, toys and such were already packed)

Again we salvaged all the cabinets to use at a later time.

The rest of the basement consisted of a small bedroom, black storage room (yes the room was actually painted black by the former owners for their teenage son's bedroom), small mechanical room (with furnace/ A/C), and a bathroom.

Our basement is now pretty much one big open area. Once it is all done, the basement will consist of 4 bedrooms, a large bathroom, 2 storage rooms, a mechanical room, and a large family room.

Former family room

Former black room, and bathroom.

The boys had a blast playing in the new addition once the old foundation was cut away (yep, our house is wide open for anyone to come see)

They have taken the old bricks off the backside of our house, and starting demolishing all the existing walls/frame between the old house and the new addition.

We're really excited for the next step. Now that the demolition is pretty much done, it is time for the construction to begin. Later this week we will have the flooring for our basement/addition poured, and early next week the framing for the new addition will begin.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

LDS Conference Center

This morning to kill some time before church, we thought we would play tourist and visit the LDS Conference Center. I have been to the Conference Center before, but never for a tour. I was amazed at all the beautiful artwork, and visiting the Hall of Prophets and the portrait rooms of all the modern day apostles were a little awe inspiring and humbling. I wish I took more pictures of all the original paintings and sculptures, but it wouldn't have done the masterpieces justice. It is a place that you need to visit and appreciate in person.

This frosted glass fountain also has a large glass sculpture a few stories above that reflected light and made little rainbows all over.

I could not believe the detail on this stain glassed window. It is one of the most beautiful windows I have ever seen!

This is a portrait of Luke Johnson, an apostle during Joseph Smith's time. Since I have a child with the same name, I thought it was kind of cool to learn a little bit about him.

The view of the Salt Lake Temple from the Conference Center roof was very impressive.

I was wearing really high heels, so I had to sit down in this picture because I was taller than Kenn (he was a little self conscious about that).

Here's our little family on such a bright sunny Sabbath day.

Kidless Cousins Day

Each month a group of the Johnson cousins try to get together. This past Saturday, we decided to go kidless and see what damage we could do with just the adults.
Brian got us onto Hill Air Force Base where we hit the driving range, and I swung a golf club for the 1st time ever (except for miniature golf). The weather was PERFECT!!!! Golfing was a lot of fun, but my form wasn't quite up to par (get it, hee hee), and Tiger Woods would have been ashamed to call what I was doing golf. Kenn and I tried swinging right handed (since we are both left handed), and the boys all tried to repeat the Happy Gilmore swing (without much success).
Following our successful afternoon of not killing anyone with stray balls, we gorged ourselves on lots of meat and meat related products at Famous Dave's BBQ. To work off the "meat sweats" after dinner, we played Encore (a music game) until the wee hours of the night. The boys killed the girls (or I should say Kenn won hands down), but I think we kind of let them win to boost their self esteem.
We had such a great time, and I can't wait for the next "kidless" activity when we are going shooting (and I will have the chance to fire a gun for my 1st time ever- if you thought I was scary with a golf club, just you wait)!

Brian is monitoring Aimie and Jolene on their 1st swings of the day.

Melissa and Jolene giving it their all.

Aimie showing us her stuff.

Kenn taking out all his frustrations on the poor ball.

Craig following in Kenn's footsteps with the frustrated swing (apparently it's a Johnson thing)

Brian trying out his Happy Gilmore swing.

His graceful little dance didn't even get the ball off the tee.

Thanks guys, see you next month!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Happenings in Afghanistan

My brother Scott has been able to occasionally have internet access while he is deployed in Afghanistan. Last week he posted on his blog something really cool that I wanted to share with everyone. It's awesome that even in the midst of so much destruction and evil that God can bring light and hope to all his children around the world. WE LOVE YOU SCOTT!!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Celebrating a Birthday, School, and More Destruction

We have been in a constant state of upheaval this past month - or as I like to think of it as our "new normal". The transition of moving to my parents house mixed with the stress of home renovation, mingle with starting school has been a little difficult on the kids. They love being with the grandparents, but not playing with their friends everyday is starting to wear on them. Poor Molly, being the only child home, hasn't found her niche quite yet; she has been sucking her thumb nonstop (not to mention she is no where near wanting to potty train). But we are trying to make the best of things, and I think with a little more time we will all transition nicely into our temporary home (or else we will all end up crazy in the loony bin).

Jacob, Alexa, and Luke on the 1st day of school.

Wednesday, August 27th, my baby Molly turned 3 years old. I celebrated the day by working. Molly celebrated the day by getting in a car accident with my mother. Everyone is fine, but the car is a complete loss. Somebody pulled out/backed up into my mom and hit the passenger side of her car. A few things happened that let us know God was definitely watching over Molly during the accident- 1st, Molly was suppose to be in a booster seat in the back passenger side (where the car was hit), but my mom decided to put her in the toddler car seat (located in the middle of the back seat) this time for the short ride, and 2nd, Molly happened to have a blanket that she was playing peek-a-boo with that shielded her from all the glass. She was a little shook up, but not a scratch was on her.

Here is the damage to my mom's car.

This is the back seat of the car.
You can see the glass didn't reach the middle seat due to the blanket.

We celebrated Molly's birthday a couple days later with a family dinner consisting of my family, my parents, Kenn's dad and brother, and Grammy Johnson. My mom made an awesome dinner (shepherd's pie, rolls, salad and fruit), and my chocolate zucchini cake with ice cream were a big hit. Molly received some dress up clothes, fashion Polly's, books, puzzles, and stuffed animals. The most popular present by far was the Disney Princess scooter from Grandma and Grandpa Lalliss (I hate it when the grandparents upstage the parent's presents).

Molly is showing us that she is 3 years old (I'm not sure where she learned to show 3 fingers like that, but I thought it was pretty cute).

This picture is more for my own memories- the place mats shown were my Grandma Ballard's (now inherited by my mom). In all my years visiting Oregon, a meal at Grandma's house was never eaten without these place mats being present.

This is Jacob and Luke's wrapping job
(almost a full roll of tape was used for this project)

Luckily it is the thought rather than the presentation that counts!

The rest of the pictures are Molly at her birthday dinner

Our Molly Pops is the little "Cheese" of the family and is always doing something that makes us laugh. She is soooo smart- she knows all of her colors, letters, numbers, and animals/sounds, and she can do way more sign language than most of us. Molly is one of the few kids I know that looks forward to church each week so she can go to Nursery. I am glad that Molly chose our family to be a part of and that I can be her mother (she often tells me I am her favorite Mommy). She is the perfect finish to our family. We Love You Molly!!!

P.S. Due to the length of this post, I will show updated pictures on the progress of our house next time (something for everyone to look forward to).