Saturday, December 19, 2009

Making pizza

A few nights ago, Owen and I made pizza together. He probably thought we were making an art project, because he wouldn't touch the stuff after it had been baked. But he had fun anyway.

Mmm, barbecue chicken pizza!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Kristin's perfect chocolate chip cookie quest

I have always wanted my cookies to come out looking like this:

Soft and cake-like, but not soggy.

But they usually come out looking like this:

Any recipes or hints on making good chocolate chip cookies would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Naptime disaster

Here is Owen, ready to go down for a nap... (this was taken awhile ago, but you get the point.)
What a sweet boy!

And this is Owen, 30 minutes later....NOT napping.

He deliberately took his pants off so he'd have more skin to color.
At least he didn't color the carpet.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Wonderful Wife (and Family visit).

Last night was pretty rough.  Owen wouldn't sleep and my patience was wearing thin.  After failing to get Owen to sleep at 3:00 A.M., Kristin stepped in to accomplish what I could not.  Today, while I fight off sleeping in class, I really started thinking about all the things Kristin does for me and how much patience she must have with the two kids and dog at home.  To make my day seem even longer, I was looking at some recent photos of her that I really like.  I just wanted tell Kristin thanks for being amazing.  I love her very much.

This photo kind of sums it all up, crying baby, smiling Kristin.

Subsequently, I realized that I have focused too much on my cooking blog, and I didn't post the recent trip my family (parents, brother, nephew) took out to visit us.  We had a ton of fun going to the coast, going on a tractor ride to get pumpkins, going to an aquarium, and just hanging out.  Some of the highlights include:
  1. Watching Kelly eat a fish sandwich.
  2. Hanging out with my parents at the beach on their anniversary.
  3. Having a sneaker wave take me out along with Owen, Karter, Kelly, and Kelly's expensive photography equipment.
  4. Having Kelly and my Mom around to take many photos.  Both are really good and Kelly does it for a living.  None of the photos on this post were taken by me.
  5. Seeing sharks at the aquarium.
  6. Driving 6 hours to see Crater Lake, only to see snow and clouds.
  7. Eating the best french toast ever.  (Captain crunch french toast made by Kelly).
  8. Spending time with my wife and kids without a care in the world.
Here are some photos:

The man crew. (Blake, Karter, Dad, Owen, Parker)

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad


Owen hates the paparazzi. 

Really cool photo that Kelly took of a boarded up  store in rural Oregon.

Can Kelly salvage the photo equipment?

Ella with Grandpa.

Mom sacrificing a virgin pumpkin to the harvest gods.

*NOTE: My brother would probably like me to disclose that he would never publish many of these photos as they may not have been the best shot of the set.  He takes pride in his photography.  These are just the ones that I liked.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sitting around

Ella is just sitting around waiting for Grandma and Grandpa to get here. Blake's parents are on their way here right now, and I can just tell Ella is super excited to meet them. She is already getting so big! It feels like I just brought her she's 6 weeks old, weighs 8 lbs. 6 oz. and is getting more beautiful every day. Love you Ella Bella.

I haven't finished her room yet, but I thought I'd post a picture of her pretty wall decoration. My good friend, Heather, gave me some vinyl for my baby shower and said she'd cut out anything I wanted with her Cricut. So she helped me design this wall decor for her room. I still need to sit down and sew her bedding, but for now it's going to act like a throw for her crib.
Thanks Heather, I love it. (And thanks Angie for helping me paint!)

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Short Vacation

We were fortunate enough to have our friends, the Nelsons, come up this past weekend for a mini-vacation. Being Ute Football fans, they couldn't resist a match-up with our U of O Ducks. Aaron and I went to the game sporting opposing colors. Despite the rain, fat-hairy-shirtless guy in front of us, and a loss for the Utes, we had a ton of fun.

To celebrate (or mourn depending on who you ask) we went to a local favorite, Papa's Soul Food. It goes down in history as the worst dining experience to date, not because of the food, but because we had 5 children under 3 at our table with 4 adults. There was a moment when all 5 kids were crying and pulling at dishes on the table. Heidi got maple syrup on her lap, and Aaron, a pitcher of water. Other patrons were certainly happy to be rid of the crazy people with too many kids. Chaos aside, I enjoyed my chicken and waffles.

The next day we went to the coast. At first the boys didn't like the waves because the water is so darn cold. By the time we left they were waiting for waves to come crash against them. They would just stand and laugh. Owen would walk straight out to the deep water if I let him. We also saw a seal swimming in the water just off the beach. He was there for about an hour.

We had a ton of fun. Having all those kids in one apartment for a few days was crazy. I've never seen such a concerted effort to make noise. Five kids, four adults, one crazy dog, and 1200 sq. ft. is quite the setup. Aaron and Heidi continued up the coast for a few days with their kids. I wish my schedule permitted us to go with them, but we couldn't. It was great seeing them. Here are a few pics.

Aaron reading to Austin, Zack, and Owen

Our little seal friend.

Aaron with the twins, Austin & Zack, and baby Gavin.

Together they will face their fears.

Zack waiting for the perfect wave.

Owen's best Baywatch pose.

The family.

Getting stuck in a porch.

Saying goodbye. I'm pretty sure Owen would have left with them if we let him.

Thanks Aaron and Heidi, it was a great trip.

Friday, August 28, 2009


About a week before Ella was born I decided to can applesauce for the year, so Blake and I went to a local orchard and picked nearly 90 pounds of gravenstein apples. This is the second year we have done this, but last year we picked 40 pounds of apples and we ended up with only like 6-8 quarts of applesauce. So we picked double that this year. I have to say, picking fruit at the orchard has to be one of my favorite things about Oregon. You can go pick just about anything you want at the various orchards around here. This fall, Blake wants to go pick hazelnuts, which I have never even seen on a tree before, so that should be fun.
Anyway, here are some pictures of our "adventure." It took us two nights of cooking the apples, putting them through the strainer (HUGE time saver!) and processing them all. It was a lot of work, but I am so happy with how it turned out. Blake was such a trooper, he had to put up with a lot of my nesting projects that I wanted done before Ella was born. This was the biggest and most time consuming of them all. Thanks honey! But now we have 30 quarts of yummy applesauce to last us until next year...sorry Blake, this is going to be a yearly tradition.

Owen helped by "washing" the apples, although there was a lot more throwing of the apples going on.
This is only half of the apples we processed.
This is where I sat all night long and cranked out the sauce.
Blake stirring in the sugar and cinnamon.
That's one huge pot of applesauce.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Blake's New Blog

I need a creative outlet. I have created a blog dedicated to my adventures teaching myself to cook with little time, money, or skill. Some of my regular posts will probably include:

"What Was I Thinking: Kitchen Failures"
"Manly Cooking Hints"
"I is awesome recipes"

It will also include random thoughts on how ridiculous cooking can be. My wife may also chime in from time to time. Please check it out. I will try to put up new posts regularly. Find me at The website is also hurting for some of my wife's good blog design skills. It will get awesome in the future. I will also post on the family blog about other things.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Baby Ella

We got to welcome little Ella Jean Johnson into our family early this morning. She came at 4:31 am, weighed 6 lbs. 8 oz. and was 20 inches long. She is such a good baby already, she eats and sleeps and hardly ever cries. It truly amazes me how these sweet little babes come into this world. One day she's in my belly and the next, I'm holding her. Every time I look at her I feel so grateful that I am given the opportunity to raise one of Heavenly Father's little babies.
The hospital bed is making my back ache, but other than that, I feel really good. SO much better than the first time.
Enjoying a well-deserved breakfast!
Owen meeting Ella for the first time. Notice the car that Ella brought with her for Owen.
(Thanks for the idea Candice!)
Owen "petting" Ella like he pets Parker.
Owen did really well around Ella, he still doesn't understand who she is, but he is gentle with her and even kissed her on the head a few times. I wonder how things will go when he realizes this baby is coming home with us and isn't leaving. Owen has been staying over at our friends' home so that Blake could spend some time with Ella and me at the hospital. It has been really nice having him around so much, thanks Landon and Heather!
And thanks for everyone who has given us gifts, offered help and best wishes- you are very appreciated.