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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

PinterTest Kitchen 3: ThanksGiving PinterPalooza

I'll be honest.

This post is going to be short but sweet.


Lots of sweets.

I slept on my neck wrong.

And I can't move it.

We had Ashlyn's IEP with the school district this morning.

Which stands for Individualized Education Plan.

Or Interrogation Extravaganza for Parents.

Basically, I hate these meetings.

They stress me out.

And I am exhausted.

But life goes on, right?


My brother and sister-in-law hosted Thanksgiving this year.

It was fun.

And a bit crazy.

With a ridiculous amount of food.

And the boys spent much of the time upstairs watching football.

Requesting beverages via text.

In a ridiculous movie theater room that my brother had installed pre-Kennah.

She's worked wonders on his former bachelor pad.

But I don't think she's allowed in that room.


I was instructed to bring desserts.

I made three.

I also brought two appetizers.

5 pins = PinterPalooza

Pictures of 4.  You'll have to trust me on the 5th.





I'll start with the appetizers.

Because that's what you're supposed to do.

Kim's Baked Brie.

Which is really Co-worker Cary's.

But who cares where it came from.



Kim's Artichoke Dip.

Which is really Southern Living's.

But again.  Who cares?

And picture-less.  Sorry.


Both are tried and true.

Made a zillion times.

They will make you the life of the party.

And gain 5 pounds just by looking at them.

But we don't care about that either.


Now... on to the desserts.

Make this almond cake.  Now.

This picture does not do it justice but it's FABULOUS.

Do I dare say the best cake ever?

I almost want to say the best cake ever.

But I won't.

But I really, really want to.

Super easy.  SUPER delicious.

I also brought Salted Caramel Chocolate Pretzel Bark.

A standard favorite.

I've blogged about it before.




And lastly...

Blackberry Pie Bars.


Although next time I'm going to cook the crust for a shorter period of time.

Or use parchment paper as it stuck to the bottom of the pan.

We let dad have some after he put the spoons away.



I'm going to sleep now.

For a long time.


Your turn!

Link up and tell me what you've been up to...

I can't wait to see!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Things

Lots of good stuff going on around here.

Kayla started horseback riding lessons a few weeks ago.

Thanks to Nan and Pops.

Our version of horseback riding lessons is a trip to Lemos Farms once a year.

Dave took a beautiful picture on Saturday.

And it's kind of my favorite picture he's ever taken.

Kayla wants a cowgirl theme for her new bedroom.

And I'll be honest.

The thought of 24/7 cowgirl makes my insides hurt.

But, this?

This I can get behind.


Speaking of photographs that make me happy.

Chomping at the bit to get some canvases printed.

And decorate my sad, lonely walls.

Thanks a million, Jess.

You have a gift.

Friendly Reminder:

The 3rd edition of the Pintertest Kitchen is this Thursday!

Last month, 28 of you shared your adventures.

I loved reading them all.

Be sure to link up again this week.

Can't wait to see what you've been up to!


Also, my orphan-loving, huge-hearted friend has another pretty amazing project in the works.

Go check it out.

life rearranged

Have a good day, friends!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hello Tuesday.

Hello somewhat cleaner garage.
I'm going to tackle the rest of you this afternoon.


Hello most beautiful bride.
We loved seeing you marry such a good guy.


Hello amazing venue.


Hello coolest street sign in all of LA.


Hello funny friends in a photo booth.
Hello husband in the corner, checking the score of the USC/Oregon game.


Hello happy house.
We loved being your guests.
And your salted caramels.
And your example.


Hello adorable QBM backdrop.
And more adorable, bunting-sharing friend.


Hello LAX.


Hello what happens when the grandparents are in charge.


Hello preview gallery screen shot.
Set to a Mat Kearney soundtrack.
I told you she was awesome.

Linking up (a day late) with Lisa Leonard.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Family Pictures and a Happy Day Recap!


It's been a week.

3G network working overtime in this little abode.

AT&T service technicians?  NOT so much.

But we survived.

It was actually kind of nice to be without TV for a few days.


We also had this wonderfully talented lady take some family pictures on Saturday.

Here's a little sneaky peaky that I took with my phone.

I had grandiose plans that involved a pretty white blanket, library books and check out cards.

But it rained buckets the day before so the ground was pretty saturated.

And big, huge, ugly spiders had their own little Occupy Movement on my pretty white blanket the second I set it down.


Swarming up out of the lemon grass.

I've never really seen anything like it.

I noticed them before the girls and Dave did.

And tried to shoo them away by shaking out the blanket.

I hurried and gathered everyone to sit for a few shots.

Knowing I was sitting on big, huge, ugly spiders.

And I didn't even care.

It's called overcoming the elements, people.

For the sake of memories.

Kayla screeched.

And I knew my happy plan was all but over.

Until genius photog whipped out the cutest little prop ever.

That she made and painted herself.

Honestly.  I can't recommend her enough.

She's incredibly skilled.

And she makes you feel normal when your children throw a hissy
because they'd rather be riding horses than sitting in a spider den.

happy day

We wrapped up our Happy Day Project, minus Day 7 which will happen in December.

Or your daughter.

Not a big deal.

Just a fun little girl detective book that I knew she would like.

This Happy Day Project?

It doesn't have to be a big, huge production.

Actually, I would argue it shouldn't be a big, huge production.

Because that alters our motives.

Anyway, she loved this book.

And fell asleep reading it.

Who needs refreshing in life?

Moms do.

Moms of little ones.

Some Refresh tea from Starbucks.

A cute mug from Target.

Happy, refreshed moms.

Happy, refreshed little ones.

Everyone wins.

Kayla's little combo Brownie/Daisy group went up to the San Francisco Veterans Hospital on Veterans Day.

They passed out cards from the children at our elementary school.

These brave men, who were once strong enough to fight for our country, were now confined to wheelchairs.

Missing limbs.

Breathing with the aid of oxygen tanks.

Suffering from dementia and cancer.

Thrilled to receive handwritten notes from children.

I wondered if anyone else wrote them?

Or visited?

I left burdened.

And missing my grandpa.

And explaining sickness and pain to my 8 year old.

And freedom.

And it was amazing and sad all at once.


A little birdie told me the next Happy Day Project might be in February, Valentine's-ish?

I encourage you to participate.

You can even do Day 6 on Day 4.

And Days 4 and 5 on Day 12.

Like I might have done.

Just do it.

You will be blessed from it.

And you will bless others.

And Jesus is pleased with your service.

Everyone wins.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy Day Project: Day Two and Day Three

A little Happy Day catch up, if you will.

Send a handwritten note.

Not a text.

Not an email.

Not a FB message.

Julie and Jeannett have even organized cute little printables to go with each challenge.

I especially loved yesterday's from Hope Ink.

Unfortunately, our lame printer is in need of a little Happy Day Project of it's own.

Like Monday: Find $300 on the floor.

Tuesday: Buy a new one.

So until that happens, cute little printables are sadly lacking at the Johnson residence.

But back to the letter.

Sit down.

Collect your crazy thoughts.

And write.

Or kneel, hunched over on the dining room table.

Whichever you prefer.

Yesterday, anticipating today's challenge, I kept my eyes open.

There are not a ton of homeless people in our city.

But we'll see a few.  Here and there.

I didn't see one single homeless person yesterday.

Or today.

In my travels up and down the Peninsula.

It's gotten really cold here lately and I wonder if that's why.

This Happy Day Project?

It's a family affair.

In addition to pastoring Hope,

Dave manages a homeless shelter in downtown Oakland.

I asked if he wouldn't mind helping.

His response?

"Shoot, girl.  My life IS a Happy Day Project."


Tomorrow we get to give a book to a friend.

It's not too late to join in.

Blog or no blog.

It really is fun.

happy day