Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bald Eagle Day & Sledding - A Fountain Green Fantasy

The first week of February is Bald Eagle Day in Fountain Green. My mom and I went down for a fun weekend with Kristen, Mark, Sammie, Joe & Jake, Riley & Millie, Michelle, Colby & Annie, and Mardi, Gray & Ridge (15 of us in all). It was a lot of fun and a little bit crazy. We also visited the fish hatchery, went sledding, ate yummy food and enjoyed each other's company for two full nights of entertainment. Winter is such a fun time to go to Fountain Green because we can just relax. There's always too much work in the summer to just "hang out" the entire weekend.

The picture below is at the Fish Hatchery seeing a stuffed Bald Eagle and receiving our "Bald Eagle Day Pins".

No matter how many times we've seen the fish at the hatchery, it never gets old. The kids love watching the fish get fed and splashing in the water.

This is the first tree that we saw Bald Eagles in. If you look closely, you will see 18 total in one tree. We struck a gold mine here. The department of Wildlife Resources had set up scopes so that we could get a closer look. The kids enjoyed looking through the scopes.
Overall, we saw about 40 Bald Eagles that day. February is the best time to see Bald Eagles in Sanpete County.

Jake and Annie are trying to get a closer look. I don't know that Jake really knew how to use the binoculars, but he wanted to be like the big kids. He was so cute.

The Eagles would perch themselves right next to the road. This was an awesome experience to see them so up close and personal.

It's hard to tell, but when that Eagle spread its wings, it was wider than the van. It went right in front of Michelle's van. What an awesome sight!

Kristen just got a new camera for Christmas. She was able to get some pretty good pictures. It would have been nice to get out of the vehicle more often and set up the tripod. All of our bird pictures were from the middle seat of my vehicle as we were driving or parked alongside the road. Not bad considering the circumstances.

This Bald Eagle was in a tree just by the road.

This Bald Eagle was in a tree just above someone's house. How great it would be to just sit in the house and look at the eagles from your windows. Such magestic birds!

This is Millie all dressed up for sledding. Isn't she cute?

We found an awesome hill that gave us a great thrill without being too dangerous.
This is Mardi, Annie, Jake and Millie enjoying the wind in their faces as they flew down the hill.

Colby doing a solo ride. He was into finding the path not traveled and kept trying to go higher and higher. What an adventerous kid.

Samantha shaving her way down the mountain.

Samantha, Gray & Jake flying down the hill. I love their expressions.

Michelle and Gray enjoying their version of the two woman sled ride. Think they enjoyed it?

On their way back up. It was a great workout. Especially since we carried a lot of sleds and kids up the hill.

Riley, Joe & Ridge having some male bonding time together.

Annie taking a solo run. All the kids were so brave and just kept wanting to do it again and again.

Jake catching a ride back up the hill with whoever he could convince to take him back up.

What a great day Saturday was. These are a few of my favorite things about winter in Fountain Green.

Monday, December 28, 2009

David & Lee Johnson - Married November 21, 2009

David and Lee were married on Saturday November 21, 2009 in the Fountain Green Dance Hall. It was truely a beautiful day and enjoyed by all. We are so excited to welcome Lee and Kinlee into the Johnson family and are so happy for all of them. We're thrilled they found each other and think they make a cute little family.

Following are some of the pictures from their celebration.


Family Pictures

After about 7 years, we decided that it was time to take a new family picture. We have welcomed some wonderful additions to our family since our last picture. We enjoy spending time together and love the fact that we all live fairly close to mom so that we can stay in touch and see each other often. We all live within 20 minutes. What a blessing that is.

The picture below is a group picture of all of us.

Here's a picture of the Johnson children with mom:
(Back L to R) David, Scott, Mark, & Nathan
(Front L to R) Kristen, Mom & Shelly

Here's Grandma with all of the grandchildren. This was a difficult picture to take. They really are more happy than they appear in this picture. We were just grateful that they were all looking in the right direction for this picture.
We have 8 grandchildren from the ages of 1 to 15 years old.

Mark & April, Riley (9 yrs old), Amelia (4 yrs old) & Brianna (1 yr old)

Scott & Laura, Megan (15 yrs old)


Kristen & Mark, Samantha (11 yrs old), Joseph (8 yrs old) & Jacob (3 yrs old)

David & Lee, Kinlee (3 yrs old)


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Capitol Reef, The Living Desert!

In my Science class, we went on a field trip to Capitol Reef. We had to make a digital story about our experience for one of our assignments.

We posted this video on YouTube.
If you are interest in watching it, click here.

Warning: The movie is almost eight minutes long.

Hope you enjoy it!

Time flys when you're having fun!

Well, it's been six months since my last blog. I've been a huge blog slacker. It's also been a crazy six months for me. I've been trying to make time to blog but haven't been able to download and organize my pictures because the pictures on my computer are already so unorganized and saved in all the wrong places. I haven't had a spare minute to organize my pictures and I haven't wanted to multiply the problem by downloading new pictures. Therefore, I just end up taking pictures and never download them. SLACKER!!!

So I'll give you the cliff notes version of the last six months of my life and you'll just have to visualize the pictures in your head. One day I might post some photo's, but until I have more time to organize and download them, it might not happen for a while.

April - In April, I finished my first semester back to school. My classes were very intense and kept me busy all of the time. I was able to earn all "A's", but I worked my butt off for everyone of them.

May - I was looking forward to taking the month of May off but was almost as busy in May as I was during school. I spent the month getting all the final touches ready for girl's camp and volunteering in Kristen's kindergarten classroom. I also did a lot of work around the house and yard. It seems as though we are NEVER without a major project to be working on.

June - The day that school got out, Kristen's family, Nathan, my mom and I all headed out to the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Zion's Canyon. We had a really great time. The campgrounds were wonderful and the views and hikes were amazing!!! The weather was great as well; a little on the cool side, but much better than too hot. It was a lot of fun and I'm so glad that we got to go.

As soon as we returned, I babysat Jacob for a few days while Kristen took some summer classes. During this time, I also finished up camp plans and studied for the Praxis exam (a pre-entrance teacher's exam) that I was taking the following Saturday. I only had one week between our trip and girls camp so it was a lot to cram into this busy week. I love spending time with Jacob so that's never a sacrifice for me.

Camp was so much fun and we had a great time. All of the planning really paid off. The weather was horrible. It rained everyday and we had to learn to fly by the seat of our pants. We wore our winter coats most all of the time. Despite the weather, it all turned out great and I'm grateful for the experience.

The following Wednesday after camp, I started my summer semester for seven weeks of intense math. I was at school everyday from around 7:30 a.m. until 6 or 7 at night. I took a ceramics class for fun and it was a welcomed break in the middle of the day. The rest of the day was spent with study groups, in my math class or in the math lab. I became a permanent feature at the math lab and really relied on the tutors there. It's been about fifteen years since I took the first part of this class and so I was starting out the class with a huge disadvantage to the rest of the students. I didn't have much of a life for those seven weeks and I'm so grateful to my family for picking up the slack where I left off. In the end, I earned an "A" out of my math class. What a relief!!! I was glad that I had all of the extra help and time available to LIVE at school and help me earn that grade.

July - I was still living at school during the month of July. I didn't have much of a life beyond school. The highlight of the month was getting the results to my Praxis Exam and finding out that I passed. I'm positive that the only reason I passed this exam was because I was serving as the stake camp director at the time and was giving service. What a blessing it was to be given that extra help on my exam.

Lamb Day was in July and we had a great time visiting with all of the family and friends. I love Lamb Day and spending time in Fountain Green. This summer we have been busy painting the soffit and porch and window sills on the outside. Almost every weekend we had a new project in Fountain Green that we were working on (as always).

August - School ended on the 14th of August. I then only had one week off before starting my fall semester. This week was spent trying to put away girl's camp and organize my life to prepare me for another intense semester.

We were able to get away a few different weekends during the summer for small local camping trips. I didn't get near enough times out in my trailer, but hopefully that won't become the norm in the future. I look forward to becoming a teacher and having summers off so that I can take more camping trips. I love camping (especially when I'm not in charge of the whole thing and can just go with the flow - unlike girl's camp when we have to schedule time to wash our hair - which I didn't even have time for this year at camp). We live in such a beautiful place and have so many opportunites around us that we need to take advantage of.

September - I kept hoping that the fall semester would be easier, but once again it is very busy and keeps me highly involved. It's a good thing I suppose. It keeps me focused on doing all of my assignments and learning all of the skills that I'll need to have as a teacher. I don't love that part of school when you don't even have time for a personal life. But I don't have that exciting of a life anyway so I might as well spend that time on school.

I was blessed in September to receive a scholarship that will pay the full amount of my tuition until I graduate from school. What a relief that was. Living on unemployment doesn't provide enough to pay for school as well. It's a good thing that I live at home with my mother or I wouldn't be able to have the wonderful opportunites that I have in my life.

On September 18th, Nathan bought the house across the street from my mother's house. We love having him as our neighbor and getting to see him on a daily basis. I've been super busy helping him paint his entire upstairs and installing new windows. I'm so excited for him and his new opportunities with this house. He is good at everything and has been able to redo all of the electrical, lighting and small repairs that we've been working on.

October - In the month of October, we installed new windows at Nathan's house. I just hired one of my previous workers and Nathan and I did all of the prep and finish work. The rest of the family has also been a big help to Nathan and we appreciate all the work that they have given to help him make his house beautiful. His windows look so great and have made a huge improvement on his house. I'm glad that I had the contacts and skills to help him out with that.

David met the love of his life and became engaged. They will be getting married on November 21st. We've been busy helping him as well. We are excited to welcome Lee and her three year old daughter Kinlee into our family.

I finally made time to have a party with family and friends for Halloween. It was a lot of fun getting together with everyone. We fit 37 people (19 of which were excited kids in costumes) into our house for a haunting evening. I need to make more time in my life for these special moments.

We went to Fountain Green for Halloween. What a blast that was. They have some fun Halloween traditions that we had never experienced before. On Saturday, the school had a carnival with all the blow-up slides and climbing wall. Following the carnival was Trunk-or-Treating at the city park. Immediately following the trunk-or-treating all the kids in town came to Main Street. We had a ton of trick-or-treaters and decorated the house with Nathan's fog machine, bones and scary music. Later that night, all the teenagers come and "steal" everyone's Halloween decorations and pumpkins and put them on the top of the post office. We all rushed down to the post-office the following morning to see it all decked out. They really did a good job and it was fun partaking in these fun traditions. It might just become our new tradition for us if Hallween is on a weekend.

November - We look forward to David and Lee's wedding later this month and have been busy trying to figure out the menu. They will be getting married in Fountain Green at the dance hall. I'm sure that it will be beautiful.

Today I started a field experience in a kindergarten classroom for the next three weeks. I'll have a ton of lessons and assignments that need to be completed during my field experience, but I look forward to a break from my regular school classes and the daily pressure I feel from trying to complete all of my assignments, papers and reading. It will also be good to work with the kids and really get to experience being in the classroom.

Well - that's the long version of the last six months of my life. Hopefully, I'll have time during my field experience to organize my pictures and will be able to post some pictures to accompany this lengthy blog.

I have a great life and LIFE IS GOOD!!! I just wish that I had more time to spend with those I love.