Wednesday, December 30, 2009

johnston family christmas and flu epidemic

Would it be considered an epidemic if 21 27 people out of 50 got violently ill within a 48-hour time period? I'm thinking that it would . . . it was 21 27 people at last count. That's when we flew the coup and came home two days early. I'll come back to those fun details . . . first I'll start with the fun stuff before the epidemic hit.

Saturday evening we had an awesome turkey dinner and all the families took turns sharing what they had been up to for the past year. (My husband has 11 siblings with spouses and children, so this always takes an evening.) Sunday we had church and an afternoon at the beach. That evening we had dinner and a "decade dance" at Tim's brother's store across from the Mission Inn--he has a empty floor at the top of his building. We were to all come dressed in a decade of our choice. We had everything from the 1930's to the 1980's. It was SO MUCH fun! Thanks Jilinda for organizing! Here are some pictures:

Monday we had our annual cousin gift exchange and then the grown-ups had our white elephant gift exchange. Most of the time we have GOOD white elephant gifts--like cash and gift cards--this year there were a few duds--like The Clapper that we ended up with. After lunch we went to Craig's gym and played for a few hours. This was a highlight for our kids.

At this point in the day, a few kids had gotten sick with the flu. We tried our best to keep them apart from other kids, but with 50 people running around, it's not an easy task. (Most of us stayed at two different houses.) That night eight more people got sick at the house we were staying at (including my husband and his 80-year-old parents). With five bathrooms in the house, there were not enough toilets to go around. Just picture buckets and lots of laundry. Richie, my 23-year-old newphew, was staying at a different house. He threw up so much that he passed out and woke up with his hand in the toilet and a bleeding cut on his head from hitting the tile. Early the next morning, four of my little nieces and nephews were throwing up on the front lawn because all of the bathrooms were in use. It wasn't funny at the time, but now it sounds quite comical.

Tim was through the worst of it by 7am (I had been up with him all night) and I said, "Let's get out of here!" He agreed even though he wasn't 100%. We did not want me getting sick or our kids. A few other families left early as well. I had a fever all the way home and held onto a bucket. I've been weak all day today, but still have not succumbed to the worst of the flu. My sister-in-law, Rachel, left early with her family as well. They had to stop on the freeway for her to throw-up. As of this morning, 21 27 people came down with the flu. I think that qualifies as an epidemic, don't you?

When we got home last night, we were sure our girls were going to get the flu in the middle of the night. So, we had them sleep on the floor on either side of our bed so that we could quickly help them when it hit. They thought it was so much fun. They set up a towel walkway from our bed all the way to the bathroom so that they wouldn't get throw-up on the carpet. They practiced running back and forth on it. I'll leave you with this final picture--throw-up cups in hand. They didn't get sick last night . . . if we can make it through tonight, I think we'll be in the clear.

Apart from the flu, we had an awesome time! This is a Christmas adventure that will not be forgotten.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

swak class

We are back in town today--we had to cut our trip short . . . I'll share all the details and pictures soon. Just wanted to quickly post my class that went up on Green Tangerines blog today. If you are local, come join me for my next class on Wednesday, January 20 from 6-8pm. Call the store to sign up! 916.781.8010. Cost is $24. Here is a sneak peak . . . check out the other gals great classes too!

Friday, December 25, 2009

merry christmas!

Merry Christmas from our home to yours! We are on vacation visiting family. Be back in a week!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

christmas cards

What do you do with all of your Christmas cards? The first couple of years we lived here I lined them up on top of the REALLY long mantel that I have . . . but they were always falling over and it just wasn't working for me. Two years ago I had my husband install little eye hooks underneath the mantel and we painted them the same color as the mantel (I leave them up all year and you don't notice them). Each December I string green ribbon through the hooks the small clothespins that I spray painted red. This is how I hang my cards every year and I love it! (Now my girls get the mail everyday and hang them up for me.)

I love seeing how each family grows and changes every year. I leave these up through January to enjoy!

Monday, December 21, 2009

happy monday!

Good morning! Have all your shopping done yet? I have been done with my shopping, but we are prepping to head down south for a week in a few days--lots to do! Because my husband has 11 siblings (he is #12), holidays at his parents place are never relaxing . . . but they sure are a lot of fun! Every year we celebrate Christmas with EVERYONE in his family the three days following Christmas. Everyone but one sibling is able to make it this year--with 39 grandchildren, it's always a busy household.

We always have a variety of activities planned . . . there is no sitting around at a Johnston gathering. We have "share what's going on in your family night", "talent night", "home video night" and this year we are having a "dance night" in one of of the empty floors of Tim's brother's store. We have to come dressed in a decade of our choice. Because I am still losing the baby weight, I literally have nothing to wear. I was struck with a brilliant idea while lying in bed the other night . . . well, I thought it was brilliant because it is cheap! I am going to tye-dye t-shirts for our entire family so that we all match. Yes, we're going as hippies. I bought red and green Rit-Dye to make the t-shirts festive. I'll figure out something fun to do with all of our hair and we should be set. My girls and I will be making the shirts today--FUN!

This next layout has nothing to do with Christmas, but I had to post something scrapbook related!

Tim is such a fantastic dad! He is always thinking of creative things to do with the girls. This photo was taken this past Father's Day before Seth was born. I made this layout for the store as well and used some more Jillibean Soup on it.

Have a great day!

Friday, December 18, 2009

It's cold outside

It's cold and foggy here today in sunny California. I thought this layout might help me thaw out a bit. It's from this past summer when we took the girls fishing. You'll note that my 3-year-olds bangs are still growing back (that she cut), thus the funny looking hairdo.

When some Jillibean Soup product came into the store this past summer, they asked me to do a couple of samples for them. It was a great line for outdoor pictures. I'll post another layout soon!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

little gifts

What do you do for all of those little gifts that you give? Gifts to teachers, neighbors, people you work with, etc. This year I did something really easy! And it's something you can involve your kids in as well (my girls loved it!) Here is fill an ornament . . .

Cut 12"x0.5" strips of double sided patterned paper. I used Stampin' Up! paper for these ornaments.

Wrap each strip around a pencil and load the empty ornament (they will untwist as you load them). My kids loved to do the wrapping of the pencils! I used approximately 8-10 strips for a small ball and 12-14 strips for a large ball. I later tied a ribbon through the hooks.

You can purchase empty ball ornaments and Joann and Michael's. They are always on sale this time of year. I bought these last year, so I can't remember what I paid for them. It's an inexpensive, easy and thoughtful gift--my kind of gift!

Monday, December 14, 2009

October kit is in!

The October kit at Green Tangerines is in! It was delayed a little over a month because of issues out of their control, so they actually combined the October/Novemeber kit. It is available to ship anywhere. Just call before they are gone! 916.771.8010. It is full of wonderful warm colors! I promised myself I would finish a couple of projects I am currently working on before I would touch it . . . we'll see if I can hold out! I will post pictures when I get some layouts done! Here are some close ups of the kit:

Happy Monday! Hope you are staying warm. It is FREEZING here . . . well for California anyway.

Friday, December 11, 2009

do your kids do this?

We have rest time everyday at the Johnston household. Usually the girls are in their room together for an hour or so while baby brother is napping and I am napping or have some down time myself. If they've had 4 good rest times in a row (this means no fighting and no coming out of their room), they get to watch a short movie during rest time downstairs--a real treat. After their 30-minute movie, they know to shut it off and play quietly downstairs until I come out of hiding. Sometimes they get a little carried away and this is what I find . . .

They'd taken the mattress and boxspring off the bottom bunk, and moved the ladder. They were casually hanging out up top when I walked in.

They had somehow found the bag of all our winter gear and were dressed up dancing around the house.

They'd received a package in the mail from their aunt (Thanks Cher!) and were more interested in the packaging than the presents. This took a LONG time to clean up.

They found my husband's dollie and made it "comfortable" to give each other rides.

They dressed up in their princess clothes, got the sofa cushions and turned them into a slide . . . all while I was resting of course.

What do your kids do when you aren't in the room?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

happy birthday

Happy 37th birthday to my husband! He is a great husband and father. He's always so creative with the kids. On this particular day he thought it would be fun to slide around in some shaving cream on the trampoline. Still a kid at heart.

The girls want to make cupcakes for dad today. And they've already wrapped his present . . . that he picked out a month ago. Have a great morning!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


This is a layout I did for a good friend a little over a year ago. I fell in love with this dog paper (can't remember who it's by, sorry), but since we don't have a dog, I did a little photo shoot with her dog and kids.

Miles, Mason and Rocky . . . aren't they cute!? And yes, this is another Becky sketch.

Monday, December 7, 2009

snapshots of us

This is a layout I did last year. These pictures were take in July of 2008 . . . Faith still had her baby face. They grow too fast!

I used a Becky's sketch for this layout. Love that girl's sketches.

The "snapshots" is a Creative Imaginations felt title. I added the purple stitching to match the rest of the layout.

Have a great morning!

Friday, December 4, 2009

september kit day 3

And some cards using the September kit:

I used my Stampin Up punch to make the cool spiral notebook look.

The "notebook paper" is actually the packaging from the chipboard letters that came with this kit.

Have a great day!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

september kit day 2

Two more layouts using the September kit:

There were 6 "Day in the Life" type embellishments in this kit. It was fun to keep track of all our household happenings for a day. I know my kids will enjoy looking back on a "regular" day.

The "09" on the right hand side is a rub-on. There were a TON of rub-ons in this kit. No way I could use them all. My kids will have fun with the left overs.

Mom and Dad--you can click on the journaling to make it bigger. : )

Check back for September kit cards tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

12 weeks of Christmas update

The last two calendar pages released today at Green Tangerines. I designed the April page and my friend Kristen designed the August page. Get them while you can and give a cute calendar as a gift this Christmas!

september kit day 1

Green Tangerines September kit was totally different than any of their previous kits. It was fun and challenging to use things I would have never thought to pick up in the store myself. It was a fun blend of neutral colors with a lot of "document this" type embellishments. Here are a couple of the layouts I put together for them.

There was a ton of "number" stuff in this kit--great for lists!

The kraft colored embellishment on the right hand side was a custom embellishment made by the talented gals at Green Tangerines. I colored and outlined some of the words. You could stitch or ink the words too! The word "details" is an American Crafts font that actually came in gray. I painted it cream to better match my layout. You can paint on the foam thickers quite easily.

Check back tomorrow for more!