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Monday, December 28, 2009

Dear Birthmother

Dear Birthmother,

Here we are again.
We have been thinking a lot about you during this
Christmas season.
We can't make it through the holiday, of course,
without reflecting on the sacrifice of the Savior.
He gave His life for us.
He gave us more than we could give ourselves.
He loved us perfectly.
It would take more than a lifetime to understand His perfect love.
And yet,
as we reflect on the decision you are making,
we recognize your decision as another incredible sacrifice.
Your decision to love someone else more than you love yourself,
is beautiful.
To offer someone more than they could otherwise have,
is truly amazing.
Your decision to be so selfless at this time
emulates the Savior,
and we are eternally grateful for you.

We know we haven't met you yet,
but we already love you.

Merry Christmas
and a
Happy New Year.

Friday, December 11, 2009

December

We are going to be gone for a week!
We are headed back to
Nebraska
(actually Iowa, we couldn't break Lincoln's heart when he asked if it was Nebraska)
when we said it WAS Nebraska
Lincoln responded:
"Dad, we don't live in Arizona anymore."
"What?" David said
"Grandma is coming to get us and take us back to Nebraska."

We haven't had the heart to break the news, that
this is just a visit.

But, until we blog again--Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Our Favorite Art

I admit. I got the idea from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

But I LOVE the idea of having the walls of our home covered in beautiful pictures of our family.

So, last week, I printed three pictures at 16x20 (only $6 a piece at Costco!), put them into beautiful frames, and hung them on our wall.

I love them, so I thought I would share them:





They hang on the wall above our vintage 27" tv.

Recently one of our dear friends came over and asked, "How does anyone ever watch TV? It's impossible not to stare at those pictures."

I couldn't agree more.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Emma.

My sweet neighbor,
who just returned home from and incredible mission
for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints,
came over and shared this beautiful song with our little family.

As we get ready to start the adoption process again,
I hope I can have the strength, and the faith that Emma did;
as she weathered her storms with a
Queen's Grace.

I hope that when it seems like the world is on our shoulders
and the nights grow colder,
that we can stand strong together.

Thank you Sister Emma, for your example.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dear Birthmother

It's time to bring back our letters to
our next beautiful birthmother,
wherever and whoever she might be.

Dear Birthmother,

How are you today? We are doing great. We can't wait to meet you. We want you to know we love you. We pray for your courage to strengthen you . We honor and reverence the decision that you are making, as we know that the building of our family means that a great sacrifice has to be made; a sacrifice that you are making. We don't yet know who you are, where you have come from, or what your life plans are but we love you. We know that the biology of our family is made of courage, valiance, and a love that endures. Find us soon. We are looking for you.

The Johnsons

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Believe.

Mama: Lincoln, the phone is for you

Lincoln: Hello?


Me: Who is it Sweet Boy?
Lincoln:

Lincoln: Yes! I have been nice to my brother
and I've been good for my Mama.




Lincoln: I want a transformer.
(apparently the yellow one called Bumblebee)


Lincoln: I love you too, Santa.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A moment in time

I love being a mom.

I always wanted to be a mommy.

When I found out I was pregnant
with Lincoln,
I was ecstatic.
I was in love with this tiny human
that I held close to my heart
for so long.
The first time I held him, I was overcome with emotion.
I knew that a loving Father in Heaven,
had shared a tiny piece of heaven with our family.

When infertility hit,
my desire to be a mom didn't go away.
The desire to be a mother, was known
to the Lord.
Through fasting,
prayer,
and daily pleading
He
provided a way.

In fact, in July of 2007,
the desire to fill out adoption paperwork
was so overwhelming,
as the Lord spoke to my heart
as He spoke to David's heart,
and we knew it was time.

When we met Joanie,
we fell in love with her.
She was the Angel Mother
for our Henry boy.
The first time I held Henry,
I was overcome with an overwhelming sense of
the selflessness and sacrifice shown by
our Joanie Girl.

We love her so much, and we pray for her daily, and
thank our Heavenly Father for her ability to love Henry
as much as she does.

that being said,
the time has come again.

to fill out adoption paperwork.

Families are Forever.

p.s. the song I wrote for our beautiful birthmothers is on my right sidebar called,
"It's about Love."
Enjoy.



Friday, November 06, 2009

I LOVE Forever

Ever since I met David,
November has had a special place in my heart.
It reminds me of the wonderful time
David and I courted.
the first time he held my hand
the first kiss,
the first I Love You.
the first "not a no-keep going-you are going to love what I have in store for you with this wonderful man" from the Supreme Matchmaker
the first David Roast
(if you haven't had it, you should)
the first invitation to go to his parent's home with him
the first heartache that meant we would be apart at Christmas.

On this particular day, 6 years ago
David told me he could imagine holding me
FOREVER.

He hasn't let me down.

In fact,
the same gentle inviting arms have held me through countless
moments.
While we were courting, they held me, and we longed for Forever.
In the temple, the day we got married, we held each other and thought about our new
Forever Life;
there was a lot to take in, but forever seemed wonderful.
When we found out we were expecting Lincoln, we hugged with the joy of being Forever parents.
The day we graduated from college we held on to the hope that for forever we would be able to be instruments in the Lord's hands.
When infertility hit, the holding was more frequent and a little tighter, to let me know
that Heavenly Father had promised us forever, and He wouldn't forget us.
The day, we were chosen by our Joanie Girl, we held on tight, and realized the Forever that comes from the Lord's hand, when we have done all we can do.
Today, David held on to me as he said goodbye for work.

Yes,
On this particular day, 6 years ago
David told me he could imagine holding me
FOREVER.

He hasn't let me down.

Here's to an eternity of Forever Holding!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Personal Space.

Having worked many years for
Especially For Youth
you become a little desensitized
to personal space.
Most of your days are spent hip hip hooraying,
loudly,
regardless of how close your nearest neighbor is.
Alright, Alright, Alright, Alright, Alright, HEY!
It's. Amazing.

6 years ago in August,
I had finished
14 straight weeks of EFY.
that was 24 hours a day with the awesomeness of youth.

and,

I had come to accept that I had no issues with personal space.
There is comfort to be found in being so close.

Then, it happened.
I met the man of my dreams.
the man for whom I pleaded.
the man for whom I longed.
the man for whom I lived my life righteously.

David Earl.

Suddenly, in his presence, I started to
flush when he was close to me.
it was the time our foreheads were touching.
and I could feel his lips talking to mine.

Too close for comfort.
But not yet close enough, for fulfillment.

you know it must be real, when suddenly you have decide that the
alright, alright, alright, alright, alright, hey of your personal space
is something you want to share
instead of something you just share freely

6 years ago today
something magical happened.
David asked me
how I felt about him.
(I had told him not to kiss me until he was sure he really liked me. and I knew what was coming because he liked me six years plus the day before yesterday ago, and he just wanted to make sure I liked him.)
And of course,

I told him I really liked him.

(what's not to like in a package of ultimate perfection? seriously.)

And then,

He kissed me.

and since that day,

I am eternally grateful to share my
personal space

with him.

I love you David.

Here's to an eternity of kisses and personal space.
(the night before our wedding)

Monday, October 26, 2009

I'm So Glad When Daddy Comes Home.

]

I'm So Glad When Daddy Comes Home!



Glad as I can Be.

Clap my hands
And shout for joy,
and climb upon his (back and the back of his knee)


put my arms around his neck
hug him tight like this

pat his cheek

Then give him what?

A
great Big big wrestle on the ground!

(Well, we were close, right???)

Friday, October 09, 2009

He didn't pass

HE DIDN'T PASS.

It's impossible to get him to talk about it,
so please don't call.

Now I know what you are thinking:
I am probably thinking the exact same things.

But, he has worked so hard.


TRUE.

He has given so much

TRUE again

The amount that he has given to the family to keep them happy, comfortable,and to keep them going(literally) is immeasurable

Don't I Know It.

However:

we were told that with

A LITTLE MORE
devotedness
to what actually needs to be addressed
,
(are you kidding me?)

some tender, loving care
(for crying out loud!!!)

and

some more money
(we don't have a money tree!!!)



He

would be able to pass

the next time.


DARN EMISSIONS!





IN OTHER GREAT
AND IMPORTANT
JOHNSON NEWS:


THIS HANDSOME MAN PASSED THE BAR.




Monday, October 05, 2009

Dear October...

Dear October,
I never doubted you would come.
But, I am so glad you
finally showed up.

Thank you
for the beautiful leaves
(yes, even in Arizona)
and cool weather.
(Who says 77 at night time isn't cool?)
and reminding me
that this month
6 years ago
I met
my Eternal Companion.

Thanks for being here

Also, look at these beautiful blessings.
October 2009












Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mine.

I remember the first time I saw David, in August 2003,
He was wearing a white church shirt, and yellow and blue suspenders.
I remember hearing him talk, and thinking "He is really smart."
People around him were happy.
They were smiling.

I wanted to know him.

Lucky for me, He wanted to know me too.

The first time he kissed me,
I went in my apartment and collapsed on the floor
and said, "I could die a thousand deaths,"
My roommates just laughed and
rolled their eyes.
They must not have known how good my life was going to be.

I did.
and I was right.
Only,
it keeps getting better.

Everyone I know that knows David
knows that he is amazing.
I remember being at his Law School Graduation,
and being part of a standing ovation that congratulated
David
(and a few others...but really for us, David)
on his accomplishment.
He worked his entire life for this.
It was his day to shine.
WE cheered for him
(even though we weren't supposed to)
because he was our dream come true.

I am in love with my husband.
Ask any of my family and his family
and they will tell you
that I think he's perfect.

I do not stray from this belief.
He is perfect.
perfect for me.

He uses phrases like
"I wait with bated breath..." to describe his desire to be sealed to me forever.
and "I only hope it's long enough," when we talk about forever.

He smells like
Old Spice : the one with the green label,
and I admit sometimes after a long day
I steal his shirt and put it on
because I love to smell him.

When he winks at me, it's the kind of wink
that shuts out all the rest of the dancers,
offering us our own stage:
just like in Jane Austen movies

His eyes
sparkle when I make his lunch and dinner,
cry when he thinks about our great nation,
and smile when our sweet boys laugh

and when he calls me Brandi Ann,
my heart jumps a beat
because
I know I am his,
and he is mine.

Today as I was driving
I heard this song
and it was the perfect
embodiment of how I feel
about my Sweetheart.

I love you, Darling.
My Only Life.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Blessings

I love being a wife.
I love being a mother.
These two callings have been my dreams
forever.

Yesterday in Sacrament Meeting
I led the primary children
as they sang their hearts out
for the primary program.

There was one 11 year old girl,
who is adopted,
who shared her testimony of
being sealed to her parents
in the Hong Kong Temple.

The last thing she said before she sat down was
"I Love to See the Temple."

Then the little angels
sang "I love to see the temple,"
with all their might.

They sang.
I led.
I bawled.

"I Love to see the Temple.
I'm going there someday.
To feel the Holy Spirit
To listen and to pray.
For the temple is a House of God,
a place of love and beauty.
I'll prepare myself while I am young.
This is my sacred duty."


I used to write letters to my husband before I ever knew him,
promising him that I would be obedient, and
asking him to be obedient too.
I pledged my love to the future husband, who I knew would
allow the Lord to help mold him
into a choice man.

I remember the day
I knelt across the altar from my Sweetheart,
and we promised each other forever.
He made me a wife.

I cherish this role, and
look forward each day to spending eternity with the man
who kept himself virtuous and of good report.

I also used to write letters to my children,
before they were born,
promising them that I would live my life so that
they could come to a home filled with the gospel; with happiness.

I remember the day my Lincoln was born.
He made me a mother.
I remember his chubby little cheeks, his dimples, and all his hair.
As I held him, I felt the love the Lord had for this little boy.
I cherish my role as his mama.

"I Love To See the Temple, I'll go inside someday
I'll covenant with my Father.
I'll promise to obey.
For the temple is a holy place
where we are sealed together.
(that is where I lost it)
As a Child of God, I've learned this truth,
A Family is forever."


I remember 17 months ago, the day our,
tiny, beautiful little Henry was born.
As I held him and fed him his first bottle,
I knew the Lord loved him.
Sweet baby boy just loved to be snuggled.

And then, Valentine's Day
of this year,
when we took him to the
Winter Quarter's Temple
and he was promised a forever family,
I remember the Lord testifying to me of eternal families.
I cherish my role as his mama.

For each day, of both of our babies lives, we have sung
"I Am a Child of God."
We sing this to teach them of their divine importance.
It is the most requested song in our home.

While they are young, they still know the happiness that comes from basic doctrines like:
I Am a Child of God, and
I Love to see the Temple.

To end the program, the primary children sang a new song,
which is not yet in the
primary songbook.
"The Family is of God."

Honestly, the first 12 times
I listened to this song,
tears streamed down my face,
because I'm a big time cry baby,
but mostly because
this song comes right from the proclamation to the world.

Often, I bore my testimony to the primary children,
that the Lord would bless them with all the promises, in the proclamation,
as they kept the commandments.

They sang,

"The father's place is to preside, provide, to love and teach the gospel to his children.
The father leads in family prayer, to share, their love for Father in Heaven."

"The mother's purpose is to care, prepare, to nurture and to strengthen all her children.
She teaches children to obey, to pray, to love and serve in the family."

"God gave us families, to help us become what He wants us to be
This is how he shares his love.
For the family is of God."


As tears streamed down my face,
I felt an overwhelming love.
It was the love I felt the day I was married,
the day Lincoln was born,
and the day Henry was sealed to our family.
I knew Heavenly Father had blessed me
more than I could have ever dreamed
by allowing me to live in a home where
David takes the lead in family prayer, family scriptures, and Family Home Evening,
and where I get to teach my boys to love the Lord.

I am so grateful for the blessings I have been given.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

A smorgasbord of my life.

Last night every sense in which humans are capable of having
(you know:
sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing)
exploded at my house.

in a good way.

Smell and taste were very prominent.
But the hints of sight, touch, and hearing
were not far behind.

Last night we fed the farm.
That means that we created dinner for the three families that live on the farm.
We had home-made chili,
baked potatoes that had been rolled in oil, salted, and poked, then baked,
green salad with bacon,
and fresh banana bread.

Life smelled so good last night.

it tasted even better.

We listened as our sweet neighbor M blessed the food.
The dinner table was set with summer dishes,
brightly colored to encourage summer to last one day more.
We shook hands, symbolizing friendship, almost-family,

We sat and talked.

and it made me

remember

that my life has been compiled of the many senses
yes, the days of my life have been created from
beautiful and dark colors
like the Arizona sunset
and the blackness of lonely days.
on-key and off-key tones
like Martina McBride singing Blessed
and the sting of an unkind comment
gentle and firm hands
like a righteous priesthood holder
AND
delicious and not-so delicious gourmets
like white chicken lasagna
or
alligator or horse, for that matter.
and inviting and off-putting smells.
like newborn baby after a tubby or coffee.

Things such as:
the reason I still can't stomach much fish
because it automatically reminds me of
the one time I ate my Grandma's fish
and it made me throw up.
I was 10

The taste of Snickers
One of the first things I ate when
the diabetic research changed and
now instead of cutting out sugar
we counted carbohydrates.

The inner conflict
of movie popcorn.

Seeing my mom's grateful
smile, and hearing her excitement
after I swept the floor
because
"House"
was my favorite game when I was 7,
and then standing next to my mom making cookies
that made my make-believe house come to life.

Hearing Eponine sing
"On my own,"
being able to smell the rain surrounding her
and memorizing every word,
because having never been kissed at 17
seemed like life's cruel punishment.

The touch of David's hands
and the sound of his voice
the first time he called me
Brandi Ann Johnson
and invited healing for the sick.

Today, my life is still full of vivid senses
It's full of the senses that make up a
happily married
wife and
a happily employed, mother
(it's my job. And who says employment has to be monetary?)

I'm grateful for the times the Lord has guided me as I
forgot to smell, hear, see, touch, and taste
of His goodness.

For these times I am grateful mostly
because His ideas for the
sights and smells of my life
outweigh
the minimalized polaroid
I would have created for myself.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Today...

Today, I got to kiss my sweetheart as he went to work.

Today I got to kiss both my babies.

Today, I remember 8 years ago, when I was a missionary,
and people looked at us like we were crazy when we offered to share a
message of peace.
(we hadn't seen the news)

Today, I watched the
September 11th
documentaries
for the 2nd time
and my eyes
could not contain the tears.

I'm grateful for the sacrifices
that the men and women of this country
especially my grandpa and my brothers-in-law have made
to make sure
that I can kiss my sweetheart
and that I can kiss my babies each day

Today, I am grateful that there is still a message of peace
available to all who are willing to listen.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

I'd Like to Say My Testimony...

Before I had children, I thought of many firsts we would experience in the coming years.

first smiles
first words
the first scraped knees
the first "I love yous"
first t-ball games
first days of school
first dates
first loves

But Friends, nothing,

nothing,

could have prepared me fore the overwhelming joy of the Spirit when
today, Fast Sunday,
Lincoln wanted to go up to the microphone and say his testimony for the first time.
We walked up to the front, and he got a little nervous when we got up there.
But, he wanted to tell everyone that he loved Heavenly Father and he loved Jesus.

So I stood and shared the faith of my big boy, and his simple, yet profound testimony of
love, and faith in the priesthood, and his sincere belief in a Supreme Being.

It was the shortest time I have ever spent sharing simple doctrines,
and it was one of the most powerful tender mercies I have ever felt.

The faith of this sweet boy consumed me for a moment,
and I knew that He knew his Heavenly Father.

Lincoln and Henry,
Mama wants you to know that I know
that Heavenly Father loves you.
Jesus loves you.
The priesthood is their power on the Earth.
I love them.
I love your Daddy.
I love you.
Tons Bit in the whole world.

Mama

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Internet.....Sweet Internet.....


After 5 weeks of waiting, burying a line, dropping an aerial line, drilling holes, and 3 hours on the phone with COX,
we finally have the internet!

First, my brother Dan and his wife Tina are expecting a baby girl. We are so excited to meet new baby girl in January. Hooray!!! I've been dreaming in pink, and just can't wait!

Next, Grandma (David's Mom) came to stay for 2 fun-filled weeks. We had so much fun. We went to Rocky Point for 4 days, and we worked on our tans.
Rocky Point also offered us the best vanilla in the world, at the cheapest prices.
Grandma made all the dinners while she was here,
and they were seriously delicious.

Among our favorites were
Beef stroganoff
and
Oriental Chicken Salad

One night she made lasagna, and I said to Lincoln,
"Did you tell Grandma thanks for the delicious food?"
"Grandma, thanks for....nope Mama I can't say it."
Grandma and Mama busted up laughing.
(He is still adverse to ground beef, but at least he took his no thank you bite.)

Also, my mother-in-law sent me to a spa.
It was non-negotiable.
She made me do it.
Alas, I had to go.
She said it was for putting my husband through Law School, and helping him study for the bar.
-- It was so good I almost, kind of, thought about volunteering to do it all again.
-- JUST KIDDING.

It was a 2 hour back massage, People.
2 amazing hours.
Quiet.
Peaceful.
Deep Tissue.
Seriously Divine.

Thanks Grandma!
We had so much fun!


My favorite picture from the trip. These two LOVE each other.


Hee Hee. This one is especially for my mom, who thinks poor Henry will forever be stuck in a pumpkin! HaHa!


We've decided to spank him when he's older so he doesn't know how cute he is.

Lincoln's newest crush, who took him fast on the 4-wheeler.


Beautiful Boy.
(we should have started spanking the cute out of him a long time ago. He already knows he handsome)

Grandma couldn't say no! He did inform us that he was Peter Parker, when he took it off.


We have had a delightful summer.
We look forward to some more Arizona heat.

And, once again, Thank you Mr. Humphrey and Mr. Petersen for giving my husband a job. We are forever grateful for your kindness!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dear Blogging World,

We are out of commission for 4-6 weeks (they have to dig lines to get us internet)....which means no blogging!

I will try to get on the internet before that and blog about:

Grandma's visit and our trip to Mexico!

Until then

the Johnsons

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tender Mercies...

Let's be honest.
This last week I have been exhausted beyond belief.
David has been studying every day for weeks on end,
and tomorrow and Wednesday
are the culminating events that officially end
LAW SCHOOL.

I have felt the strength of the Lord throughout this summer, perhaps more than I have felt in a long time, and that is probably because I have needed this Higher Power to
Lead me, Guide me, and Walk beside me.
He has strengthened my spirit, and allowed me to accomplish being a supportive wife and mother.
He has offered me His hand through this adventure.
And, when I have been humble enough to accept it,
He has walked with me.
Truly.

I have not been perfect, in fact, I joked with my parents, that I almost sold their grandchildren.

But,
tonight as I started thinking about our studying-for-the-blasted-bar adventure,
I was sweetly reminded of the
tender mercies
the Lord has given us.

Tonight, Lincoln came and crawled on my lap
and put his arms around me,
and his head on my shoulder,
and then gave me a big kiss.
As we rocked back and forth
he held my cheeks and said,
"you are the sweetest, yeah you are the sweetest."
My eyes filled with tears
because at my most tired and impatient moment
my sweet boy reminded me of how much the Lord loves me.

Today, Henry and I played peek-a-boo
with his blanket.
He laughed
and laughed
and laughed.
If you haven't heard his laugh,
it can be described as music to the ears.
It's adorable.
He gives me repeated kisses,
and the Lord's tender mercies once again come to mind.

Sunday dinners have been prepared for us all summer
by our wonderful friends,
The B's.
They treat us like family,
and they love us unconditionally.
Yes, The Lord has been merciful in this time of need.

My husband comes home exhausted,
but he always notices the small things I have done around the house.
He always gives me a hug and a kiss,
and I can't help but think
that this
wonderful man
is mine forever.

And that; especially that,
has been and continues to be the most
tender mercy
the Lord has given me.

(We are rooting for you, Sweetheart! We are so proud of you.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Domestic Attorney....

So, the other day, my husband came home
(actually I should say the other late night),
and he said to me
"You are really home-makery lately Sweetheart, and I love it."
(If the Esquire says it, it must be a real word!)

He was referencing
the zucchini bread,
banana bread,
rolls,
chicken taquitos,
potato soup,
chicken soup,
and pizza
that have kept the kitchen smelling delicious as of late.

haha...

Now, truth be told,
I love to cook and I love to make dinner for my family. I think making my husband's lunch each day is one of my favorite parts of the day. It's the two or three minutes when I get to think about how much my husband does everyday. I sincerely love that time.

But, I confess...

I am only home-makery lately
because I try to find things that will fill the hours until David comes home.
Don't get me wrong, this is not a pity cry.
I am so proud of my husband.
He has been so diligent in his duties as provider and protector of our home.

But, sometimes when the 11th hour is nearing, I need something to
keep me going. So, I cook.
The house smells how I dream it will smell when my
kids come home from their first days of school,
or home from their first dance,
or when they first get their heart broken and only something yummy can help.

Needless to say, it smells good,

and we are both happy.
most importantly,
my sweetheart is so grateful,
and for that I would do anything.

Now, there is one thing I made lately that I have been looking forward to making for 3 years.
It was not something to pass the time,
but rather something that much time has had to pass before I could contribute.
I made baseball sugar cookies
(I will download a picture as soon as I figure out how to upload them)
Lincoln started t-ball, and I am finally
a "soccer mom"
(that is what my mom always was, and I have waited for the soccer mom days for years)
Lincoln loves t-ball, and yes
I cry when he hits the ball and runs the bases.
I am so proud of him.

Henry is my little goer.
He is 15 months, and he never stops.
He has recently started fake laughing, which we all think is hysterical.
He has learned to say
"dada"
"uh-oh"
"mama"
"cat"
"duck"
and he can wave bye bye.
He knows how to follow simple directions, and
he has the tannest little body, and the whitest bum ever to be.
I still marvel that he joined our family.

I love my life.
I love being the domestic attorney.
(who doesn't?)
I love being a wife.
(seriously , have you met the Esquire of the house?)
I love being a mother.
(being told I am a princess by my three year old, and
getting open mouth kisses from my one year old...who could ask for more?)

I am a happy girl.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

For a Friend....


Today's post if for someone I consider a friend,
though we have never met.
We are united through some
similarities
such as
infertility
and
ADOPTION.
Back before the healing world of adoption entered our little family,
and we were facing
the ugly beast of infertility
therhouse.blogspot.com
sent comforting words.

Today, she needs prayers.
Her family needs prayers.
little g's birth father needs a softened heart.
She needs ten thousand strong
praying with her,
as she fights for her baby boy.

In Nauvoo, along the trail of tears, now known as
the trail of hope,
Zina Huntington Jacobs Young writes

"There on the bank of the Chariton River, I
was delivered of a fine son. Occasionally the wagon had to be stopped that I might take breath. Thus I journeyed on. But, I did not mind the hardship of my situation, for my life had been preserved, and the babe was so beautiful."

Dear therhouse,

We pray for your strength.
You have been a pioneer much like Sister Young.
It seems like your wagon has been stopped a lot,
and yet you continue to journey on.
May you be preserved at this time,
and enjoy the beautiful babies who love you.
Come What May, and love it...
Love,

the johnsons

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Brewer Family Fun

While Daddy was busy studying,
my little boys and I just took a trip to
GALLUP, New Mexico,
where we enjoyed
campfires,
fireworks,
marshmallows,
camping,
treasure hunts,
flashlights,
and
FAMILY.

I did my best to take pictures, but I didn't get as many as I would have liked.
Sorry to those who I completely missed...
(I was probably chasing Henry around)

Here are the pictures

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Father Heart...

Today is almost over,
and I have been thinking all day
about my sweet husband.

Until today, I had not yet blogged about Law School Graduation, because I wanted to save it for a special day. It is an emotional experience, watching your best friend completing a goal that he has always dreamed of doing. When they handed David his Juris Doctorate, I was overcome with joy, for the man I love. Lincoln and I broke all the rules and cheered really loudly, because we knew that not only was that wonderful man, an attorney,
more importantly,
he was our Daddy,
our superhero,
our favorite person in the world,
my Lover,
my sweetheart,
and my best friend


(In front of our house, that sold this week)


David has what I call
the Father Heart.
When David walks in the door after a 12 hour day,
it is not uncommon for me to get a kiss
and the kids to sit and tell Daddy about their day.
(Lincoln usually speaking of Molly, his swim coach, and riding his bike, and Henry usually jabbers da-da-da)
Following this, David gets out the scriptures, and leads our family
in scripture study and prayers
But, nothing grabs at my heart strings as much as watching David
carry our babies to bed,
telling them stories, and
singing lullabies of eternal importance.
He knows they are children of a loving Heavenly Father,
and his Father heart
reminds me of the love
that Heavenly Father has for our family.

In 6 years of knowing him,
I have found that the Lord knew me so well,
and had my happiness in mind
when he allowed me the great privilege
of being courted by, and marrying
David Earl.

The other day, Lincoln said,
Mama, Daddy is my favorite person in the whole entire world.
My heart was so full of joy that this three year old
understood what goodness was, and that he knew it was all inclusive in
his Daddy.

When David gets home,
Henry kicks his hands and his feet
and yells until
David picks him up.
He loves when he gets tickled and snuggled by David.
It is easy to see that he has a special place in his heart for the wonderful man
he calls da-da.

When David and I were dating, I saw him one day
reading his scriptures, and I had a strong impression
that He loved the Lord.
I knew I wanted a husband and a father who loved the Lord the way that David did,
and it was no wonder what my answer would be
when he got down on his knee, and asked me the most important question of my life.
Eternity has been so good to me.

In 6 years, I have seen the making of a man of valor; a man who I know
loves the Lord, and is choice and highly favored of the Lord.

A man made of:
strength

wisdom
integrity
compassion
goodness
kindness
service
and Love.


Sweetheart,
Happy Father's Day.
We love you.
Tons Bit.



Saturday, June 20, 2009

Shelf-reliance....

Last year at Time Out for Women, they had a giveaway from
(click on that)

I didn't win.
Bummer, as my three year old said,
but I'm sure the woman who won was very grateful, as
this company does amazing things for gaining a year supply of food storage.
They even have a group to join on
facebook.
They have a group on
youtube.

Anyways,
they are doing another drawing, and someone
will be a lucky winner.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tears and Trust

As you watch this beautiful story of faith.
I hope you feel the spirit testify of the wonderful plan of adoption.
I know I did.

After twins, and four years of searching for answers,they found out they couldn't have any more biological children.

"I couldn't understand why. I was trying to do everything right. . . I couldn't understand why such a righteous desire wasn't being granted to me."

for those who have prayed an waited, you understand this feeling.

"...The hardest part for me was giving up control and deciding that I was going to be okay, even if I didn't get what I wanted."

the amount of faith she has is inspiring. Many times, during the struggle of infertility, I pleaded with the Lord to strengthen my faith.
He did.

"There was a lot of yearning and a lot of hope that something would happen...because he was mine, in every way to me,"

TEARS. TEARS. TEARS.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Profound

LINCOLN: "Mama, you are so lucky."

ME: "Why am I so lucky, Good Boy?"

LINCOLN: "Because you are pretty."

Family Picture 2009

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Heart

We heart Arizona.

We have been swimming.
We have enrolled Lincoln in 2$/2 week swimming lessons.
He can monkey around the pool by himself, and
jump in and swim to the top.
Henry absolutely loves the water.
He loves to be dunked.
It's like glorified bath time.

We are the also the proud parents of a three year old
T-Ball Player.
(Had it not been for the bar, David would have been the coach!)
And, yes I have cried that I get to be a "soccer mom,"
(I guess it's technically a tee ball mom.)
I get to take treats to his games, and cheer from the side line.
This is a dream come true.
Seriously.

and my big boy starts preschool in the fall.
this is a happy/sad moment for me.

Henry walks everywhere, and he is turning into a copper baby
in the sunshine.
His laugh is adorable, and he loves to be "naughty"
which at our house means incredibly cute.
He loves to go up and down stairs, and play in the blinds
(which he knows he shouldn't do, so he laughs and when you see him, he goes even faster)

We are the excited auntie, uncle, and cousins to be of
Dan and Tina's new announcement!
(click on their names)

We have been to numerous thrift stores.
We are the owners of a $1.98 tricycle that daddy spray painted red.
We bought a 99 cent pony, that with new batteries, sings, and which Henry loves to snuggle
because it reminds him of his blanket.
Also, we have begun our Christmas shopping at these awesome thrift stores
because 3 and 1 year old kids just don't care, and I have somewhat
of an addiction to SAVERS SPEEDWAY OUTLET

It looks like after the summer, we will be turning in our adoption papers again.
So, a heads up: If anyone knows anyone facing an unexpected pregnancy,
let them know about us.

We have enjoyed the dry heat.
Immensely.

We Heart Arizona

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's About Love...

When I called our Joanie Girl, and told her we were moving to Arizona, her response was so gentle and kind. She said, "Well, that's good, you will be able to take care of the boys." This was followed by silence, and I knew there were tears. We were so grateful that she came to Henry's first birthday party. It was not only a celebration of his first 365 wonderful days on the earth, but it was an emotional celebration of a brave young woman, who made such an eternal sacrifice.


At Henry's party, I wanted to share with my family, my friends, and Joanie the feelings that I have had over the last year.


So, I wrote a song.
(click above)


The first verse (I sing this one) was from my perspective as an adoptive mother; not quite sure what to do or say at first; not sure how to say thank you; feeling like my happiness and her grief were inevitably tied;

but knowing that the Lord could heal.


The second verse (that's my sister-in-law Becky, who created the beautiful alto voice) is from the perspective of a birth mother, speaking to the baby she placed; who someday may wonder why and how she did what she did; and she shares that even through heartache,
the Lord is always there.


Writing this song was a very emotional and a very spiritual experience for me. I felt the Lord's hand in my life as the lyrics and the music flooded my mind. The day that birth mother's verse came to my mind, I sat and bawled as I looked at my boys. My heart was so full of love for a Heavenly Father, who had allowed me to be a mother; not once; but twice, and I am still in awe of the decision Joanie made, and we love her.


My heart has a special place for her filled with reverence, love, and respect.


Let me be perfectly clear, the phrase, "the day that I let go," does not imply that I think birth mothers should place a baby and then say goodbye forever. When David and I started the adoption journey, we were on the end of the spectrum of , "absolutely no contact, we want it closed." But, when we met Joanie, and we heard her story, and we recognized that this young woman had been guided by the Lord to make a selfless decision, we knew that her ability to "let go," just meant that she would be able to give him what he needed by placing him for adoption, and in turn, she would be able to go through a refiner's fire and be purified.

We Love you Joanie Girl.

I love this picture, because Joanie saw that Henry wasn't happy eating cake,
so she came and held a lollipop in his mouth. She stood and held it as long as it made him happy.

Joanie as part of our family.
My mom, Joanie, Henry, Me, Lincoln, David's mom, Grandma

Joanie, Henry, and me.

It's About Love.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I love you Arizona....


When we were an hour from Tucson, our 26 foot rental truck broke down and required three tows to be finished with it. We drove into a 100 degree day, and we moved into a two bedroom, one bathroom apartment. And you know what?

I AM SO HAPPY.

The morning after we got here, my girlfriend Car-Car brought us paper plates and cups, and made us breakfast. Since then, we have enjoyed pizza and swimming with our two families.

Today, we went to church in what I refer to as my home ward, even though my family has not lived here for 11 years. I knew almost every member of the ward, and it was a very warm welcome.

In front of us sat my voice teacher from my youth. She has a beautiful voice, and I hope that she will teach me the words to "I love you Arizona," so that the beautiful song will not be forgotten.

Behind us sat my very special friend, Cali who has not forgotten one member of my family.

The Swiss family, our lifetime friends, kindly invited us over for dinner,

I was most grateful today for Brother Baker, who is the nursery leader. To be honest, I was a little emotional to see a man who taught my brothers in young mens teaching my big boy, and I know that as Lincoln listens to him, he will grow up to be a righteous priesthood holder, just like my brothers.

Plus, Arizona gave us some treasures. For my 29th birthday, I went to the Salvation Army and got these:
(I don't usually have a love for furniture, but when I saw these, I fell in love with the style and the color.)



And of course: we have already taken advantage of this and this.

Once again we thank our Heavenly Father for the blessings He has so lovingly given to us. We feel His hand in our lives on a daily basis.

I am grateful for my husband for working so hard, and being so willing to have a new adventure. Sweetheart, thank you for bringing me to Arizona.
I know that you already know how much this means to me, and I can't wait for our upcoming adventures together.

Indeed, the best part of this new journey, is being on the adventure with my boys. I am head over heels for these boys.
I love them tons bit in the whole world.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Nebraska

I giggled on our anniversary when my husband and I
were eating D'Leons and my husband said,
"I'm really going to miss this."
I was only giggling because we are moving to
Tucson, Arizona;
a short drive from the border
and the home of authentic Mexican food.

But, it got me thinking about our time here in
Nebraska, and the experiences we have had
to get us where we are today.

When I think about Nebraska:

I will remember our first home;
Our home is full of 3 years of deeply seeded memories.
Most of them are memories we will cherish forever;
some of them are memories we will take with us to help us remember the blessings that come from enduring.
Some of them are memories that make us laugh so hard, our bodies ache.
But, no matter the memory- one thing is for sure;
We have been taught over and over again that there is a
loving Heavenly Father and a Savior who have not forgotten us

Nebraska:

reminds me of the screams that came as I jumped out of the bathroom and into my husband's arms, when I saw a mouse in our house.

Nebraska:

is where I will remember Lincoln learning to crawl and learning to walk here on the
beautiful hard-wood floors.
This is the home where we made it through potty-training.
I will remember that this is the home in which he learned to pray.
and the home where he first said I love you.

Nebraska:
will gently remind me of the struggle through infertility.
While this is a memory that sometimes brings fresh tears, I will remember the
healing that took place when our Joanie Girl,
let us love Henry.
I will remember our home here as the refuge we found as we took Henry
to be sealed to us.
This is the home where he first laughed, and where he took his first steps.

Nebraska:
was the answer to the prayers I said
when I prayed to find a friend when we moved here.
After a few weeks of school,
we met the M/R Johnson Family
And three years later, we have met our dopplegangers.
They have ventured with us through late night studying, hundreds of cans of diet soda, pazooki,
waiting and praying for jobs, and finally
GRADUATION.

Nebraska:
reminds me of the drives we took to visit David's family
and the time we shared together as we
watched the lightning bugs.
It reminded me to be grateful for the
the precious time I got to spend
with my own family.

Nebraska:
is the home where I was a witness to the beauty of the earth.
The Spring here is the most glorious image to behold
and leaves no doubt
that this earth is the work of a Master of details.

Nebraska:
is the home where my faith was stretched,
my family bonds were strengthened
and where my testimony was solidified.

This home has been a beautiful learning curve
and a much needed experience,

Fare you well Nebraska.

God Be With You, till we visit again.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wooden


5 years ago today, David and I were married
for time and all eternity.
I tell you what,
Eternity keeps getting better.


In five years we have graduated from BYU,
we welcomed Lincoln to the family.
we welcomed Henry to the family.
We battled infertility.
We bought our first house.
We gained some weight.
We bought our first bed.
We got our first real job.
And, we are one week away from David receiving his JD

We have laughed.
We have cried.
We have grown closer.
We have been blessed immensely.

Yes.

Eternity keeps getting better.

I love you David Earl.
more than all the stars in the sky.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Today Part II...

today
I am grateful for these words:
(quoted by Thomas S. Monson)

“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend … when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present—love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness]—the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth

today

we are still hoping to sell our house,
but we are grateful that we have had a house to live in.

today
we are grateful that our entire family made it through pneumonia in less than 2 weeks.
(David used to get it and be out for 5 weeks)

today
we hope the economy gets better,
but we are so grateful for Humphrey and Petersen who offered David a job in Tucson, Arizona.


today
both of my kids threw fits,
but I am grateful that I get to be a mommy.
Because when I come home from the doctor and Lincoln comes running to me yelling my name and tells me that he missed me, and makes David run back to the car through the rain just to say, "I forgot to give you a hug,"
and
when Henry gives me open-mouthed kisses, and snuggles on David's shoulder until he falls asleep, and I get to celebrate his first birthday with him because of an eternal sacrifice
and
when David plans an evening out for us in the middle of finals, and holds my hand, and winks at me from across the room, and ends our days with prayer

I remember that I am the most blessed of all in my heaven on earth.

today

we are grateful for the rescuing power that has saved us over and over again.

today
is a good day to call on our gratitude power.

Monday, April 20, 2009

the.Worth.of.Souls.is.GREAT.


For any of you who haven't done so yet,
please.
Please.
PLEASE.
take a moment and watch this.
It will be the most uplifting 7 minutes of your day.
I promise.



And now, from a beautiful piece written by James Martin and found here:

"Her Youtube video at last count has received, all tolled in its many incarnations, tens of millions of hits [now well over 100 million]. Why? A few reasons, some obvious, one not.

First, there is the shock factor: what a surprise that this unknown woman can sing so well! Where has she been all these years?

Second, the sympathy factor: we feel compassion for a somewhat plain woman who seems to have been so unlucky in life.

Third, the physical appearance factor: "American Idol" stardom, or even success, is typically the province of the PYTs, pretty young things. Not of people like Susan Boyle...

Fourth, the uncanny resonance of the lyrics of her chosen song, for someone who seems to be traveling through a tough patch of life: "I dreamed a dream in time gone by/ When hope was high,/ And life worth living/I dreamed that love would never die/ I dreamed that God would be forgiving."

"But there may be something else that accounts for our delight, and for those millions of hits.

"The way we see Susan Boyle is very nearly the way God sees us: worthwhile, special, talented, unique, beautiful. The world generally looks askance at people like Susan Boyle, if it sees them at all.

"Without classic good looks, without work, without a spouse, living in a small town, people like Susan Boyle may not seem particularly "important." But God sees the real person, and understands the value of each individual's gifts: rich or poor, young or old, single or married, matron or movie star, lucky or unlucky in life.

"God knows us. And loves us... That's another reason why the judges smile and the audience explodes in applause. Because they recognized a basic truth planted deep within them by God: Susan Boyle is somebody.

"Everybody is somebody."


Just wanted to share that.

-- David




Monday, April 13, 2009

Today...

today
we are hoping to sell our house.
today
we hope that David gets a job.
today
we spent $3000.00 in hopes that David will pass the bar in July.
today
we hope my pneumonia goes away quickly.
today
is a great day to remember the words of Thomas S. Monson:

"
Through personal prayer, through family prayer, by trusting in God with faith, nothing wavering, we can call down to our rescue His mighty power. His call to us is as it has ever been: “Come unto me."

today
is a good day to call on His rescuing power.

Friday, April 03, 2009

It's About Love...


Last Saturday,
We headed out to meet Our Joanie Girl.

We were really excited.
We love her so much.

I wish there was a way to adequately express
how much love we feel for this brave woman;
how much love his grandparents feel;
his aunts and uncles;
his cousins;
and most especially his big brother.

It was so wonderful.
Really.
Wonderful.

Every day, we still thank a loving Heavenly Father for this

beautiful girl.

The light in her eyes was apparent. She was so happy.
This is sweet Lincoln on our adventure.

Henry, Joanie, and Me.


Seriosuly people. Isn't she gorgeous?

Henry was just entranced with Joanie.

How could you not be?
Before we left,through tear filled eyes,
she said something that will be forever etched in my heart.

She said,
"I want to tell you something that I haven't been able to say for a year.I can see that he is healthy and happy, and that you love him. Thank you for giving him what I couldn't."

Again, I can't adequately describe the love that filled my heart at that moment.

I was overcome with emotion.
So we sat for a moment and we hugged.
and hugged.
and cried.

Joanie Girl
thank you for giving us
this precious baby.
We.
Love.
You.

Tons.Bit.
(and at our house, that's the most.)