Thursday, September 8, 2011

It's finally official. School has begun.

For this family update, I believe that I will intersperse pictures from a recent backyard cook-out.  Cool weather has finally graced our place and we are loving it, trying to take advantage of being out of doors.  Commentary will come as is needed.

I think it is finally safe to say that we are back into the fall swing of things.  Although we know that children learn "all of the time" and though we do many educational projects throughout the summers, there is certainly a time where our activities shift and we become a little more studiously applied.

Our two oldest sons, Nick and Jake, have been back to college classes (local) for the last two weeks.  Jake is in his second year, and Nick is still a highschool student but is taking Speech and Psych.  (He is now spending significant amounts of time trying to analyze all of us.....)  We are trying to decide whether Nick is a Junior or a Senior this year.  What I mean by that is this:  He has had three years of highschool and will be 18 next summer.   He will have plenty of credit hours and will have met all requirements for graduation.  He will have taken the SAT this fall and will have applied to various colleges.  He's just not certain of what he wants to do at this point - graduate and go away to school?  Remain a highschooler for another year, live at home, work and save $$$$?  Graduate and go local to school for a time to save $$$ then transfer in to an "away" college as a sophomore?  For now, Nick continues to do high school, college, and carries on with his lawn-mowing business.  He's still working off a car from one of his clients.  He worked this summer for a corn research facility and put most of his money away for college (besides a splurge for a keyboard.)  He still loves to play and write music, both guitar and keyboard, so thinks he wants to go to school for that.  We'll have to update you on the final decision....

(Note the little soggy spot on my jeans here.  Gabe was using me as a napkin.  Mommies are SO convenient!)

Jake's internship at our local PBS station turned into a job offer after a few months, so he is no longer working at our library.  He attends college full-time, writes at a tech blog, writes at his own personal blog, and works a couple of days a week at PBS doing something or other.  (Ha Ha.  He's way over my head, so I don't even actually know what he's doing.  Programming?  Coding?  I don't know. I just feed him.)

I tell you - I have homeschooled my children for 14 years now, and at some point they have all "outgrown" me.  They have found their areas of expertise (usually NOT the areas I would have picked or pinpointed for them) and that is such a neat thing!  I realize that as parents we really are simply the foundation, the facilitators, the encouragers, the guides,  Our children NEED us to be strong and supportive for them, but they will find their own paths thru the gifts God has instilled deep within their hearts.

Jeff and I have no problem accepting the fact that our children will be much better at some things than we are.  We hope that they are!  We give them a beginning, a nurturance, forever love (and yes, chores, responsibilities, guidance, prayer....) and God draws them along to how and where He wants them to be serving Him.

(Sam is not really so glum.  Maybeeeee he has eaten too many marshmallows.)

Emily is a sophomore in highschool this year.  She is carrying a full load with Geometry, Sociology, Theology, World Lit., Guitar/Piano, Health/Economics, and Composition.

She, too, worked for a corn research facility this summer, and she (and Nick) will be working for the same company this fall again in hand-harvesting.

She has her first "official" job now.  She took over Jake's job at the library!  We joke that we could possibly keep a Johnson kid in that role for several decades.

Sometimes I say things on Facebook but don't say them here.  It feels like I am repeating myself, so if you've heard this already I apologize in advance.  Emily recently had a couple of pictures featured in a local magazine.  That was pretty exciting for us all.  She also won first place in the nation for a poster she designed for the WCTU (a drug and alcohol abuse prevention organization.)  Julia took second place in the nation for her poster, as well.  It has been a good year for our girls!

(Love this picture.  It looks like Gabe is taking the shot - holding the camera out from his body, cheesing for the photo op.  Love the fam in the background....)

Gabe is now 11 months!  I guess I'll just do his update here, rather than a separate post:

He is doing so well, as active and mobile as can be.  He keeps us all hopping, keeping him out of danger and getting himself into predicaments that he can't get out of.   It is safe to say that he is ADORED.

The rest of the kids have started school too.  We're a mix of formal and informal, whatever the day calls for.  Math is pretty formal, although I'm incorporating more math games into the year.

Julia is a 7th grader, Josiah is in 3rd, Sam is in 1st, Ben is in K, and Mariam and Gabriel are in the middle of it all.  We don't leave them out of a thing, although we do take advantage of their early bedtimes, sometimes, to get some projects accomplished or extra read-alouds done.

The pictures below just have to be published in a series.  This is what my life is like, this is why there are long silences on my blog.  My two little ones are BUSY!

Watch the faces!


See how noticeably tired my eyes are by the end of the sequence?
Ha Ha.  Yeah.  That's how it is.

We're looking forward to a jam-packed, bursting at the seams, thriving, joy-filled school-year.
We wish the same to each one of you!



  1. You've been busy and you look great! I didn't see the tired eyes, but I do see experience. I also feel how tired you are. I feel the same way.

    Good luck in your school year.

  2. You have a beautiful family! My kids still love the denim teddy bears you made. Have a great school year!

  3. Rachel, God bless you for noticing. :) I wish you a wonderful school year too!

  4. I have wondered about the bears! So glad they are still around. They were the absolute funnest ones to make. :) Wishing you a great year, too!

  5. p.s. Rachel...the "thanks for noticing" is in regards too noticing that I'm tired. :) Otherwise that comment of mine sounded vain! Ack!

  6. Yay for school! LOL

    The pictures are awesome, and truly worth a million words! :D