27 December 2007

The Christmas Experiment

This year, as an extended family, we decided that we were tired of the commercialism and wanted to do something different beside the usual- draw names, buy gifts within a certain budget, yada yada yada. Christmas needed to be about Christ. So we decided we would still draw names (as to be accountable to someone) but instead of buying a gift, or even donating to a charity in someone elses name...which by the way is really wonderful also...we thought we would spend the entire month of December looking for service opportunities OUTSIDE of the family.

It was one of the best Christmas family dinners that I ever can remember. We all sat around after dinner and reported our "gifts". They were varied and wonderful, some were as simple as holding open doors for people everywhere that person went for the entire month, others involved putting up someone elses Christmas lights with all the younger kids so the Mom of the house could have a break, others were making 10+ burp cloths to be donated to newborns at a hospital...etc...etc... It reminded me of a few lines from this months Visiting Teaching Message in our church magazine, "The Ensign":

"Those who are filled with the love of Christ do not seek to force others to do better; they inspire others to do better, indeed inspire them to the pursuit of God."

"We can alter the face of the earth one family and one home at a time through charity, our small and simple acts of pure love."

We all had such good experiences just looking for even small opportunities to serve, that we felt like this was definately a new Christmas tradition and even a new way to be. To just slow down and not be in such a hurry that we can't find time for helping others.

There was even talk (thanks Stacey!) of planning a HUGE family service project in time for our annual Christmas in July party!

Sounds like this little Johnson Family Christmas Experiment was a smashing success!

19 December 2007


Riley has been begging for at least 3 monthes for us to let her cut her hair. She even brought us a contract after the first month stating that she would not be mad at us if she didn't like it once it was cut. (Where she got that idea I have no clue!)

In the last month, Gabby has jumped on the bandwagon and has been asking for her hair to be short like her friend "Caroline". Last week she snipped off a big chunk that was in her face and we decided that we'd better cave in and let them before they took matters into their own hands.

We researched places we could donate their hair to. Riley's was plenty long enough, but Gabby was just shy of the required 10 inches for Locks of Love. We finally decided on Pantene Beautiful Lengths since they will take as little as 8 inches.

I thought I'd be okay until Rob said he thought he was going to get sick, then I thought I was gonna cry. Then we both felt dumb considering it's just hair and it'll grow back. I guess since Riley has really never had short hair it was more a psychological thing for the two of us. I can say, we both think the girls look much older. Don't know if that's necessarily a good thing, though. However, we are very proud of them wanting to donate their hair and love their new cuts. They're gorgeous.

My favorite photo is the one of Rob and Gabby. :)

29 November 2007


Okay...one photo and one blurb here about how I WILL update this page as soon as I have the time. Just getting it set up for now! :)