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.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Weber High School: Class of 2000 Reunion

It is coming time for us to come together for our 10 year Weber High School reunion. Stacey (Ropelato) Starley has set up this website to help aid the planning process. Please go to it, fill out the information, and pass this info on. Posting the link on facebook and your blog is also helpful. Initial plans indicate that the reunion will likely take place in June, 2010. As for the details, it will be at Chucky Cheese unless we hear from all of you. - Blake