Saturday, December 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby Lu!

Yes, it is hard to believe. Baby Lu-Lu turns 4 today! I constantly find myself thinking "where has the time gone?" Avery Kamdyn Johnson entered the world on December 4, 20o6, bringing smiles to our faces and laughter to our hearts...and she hasn't stopped since. She can light up a room with her bright smile, twinkling eyes and infectious laughter. She is sweet, curious, smart, charming and really funny. Avery knows just what to say to make us laugh. Her new favorite past time is making up new words for songs...just to make us laugh. "Silent Night, to the left and right" was a favorite while practicing for the Christmas musical. She loves to sing and dance and play her guitar. She loves to play mommy with her babies...and her sisters. When she grows up she wants to a doctor and a mommy...and a beautiful princess ballerina. (And I know she will be great at all of that.) Her favorite colors are pink and purple and she loves to color. While at her Thanksgiving breakfast at school a friend's mother could not believe the Turkey she had colored. She had taken her time and colored every inch of the turkey...apparently working on it in class at various times for three days...while other children had quickly scribbled a few lines and were done. Looking around the room at the other Turkeys it was uncanny how Avery's stood out. Avery you are very talented and we love how hard you work to do your best. Mommy, Daddy, Alivia and Aleah are so very proud of you! We love you so very much Avery Lu-Lu Kamdyn! What a special girl to have a birthday party at the hotel, breakfast at McDonald's (complete with candle in a hash brown), SNOW on your birthday, a breakfast brunch with all your family on Sunday, and a super fun bouncy birthday bash with your friends! Happy Birthday to our favorite 4 year old middle baby bear!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am very thankful for so many things...

I am blessed to be the wife of an amazing man who loves me unconditionally.

I am blessed to be mommy to the most precious three little girls in the world.

I am blessed to be Kiki to the most wonderful neice.

I am blessed to be surrounded by family and friends who love me.

I am blessed to be able to freely worship the Lord in a land where we enjoy so many freedoms thanks to those who care enough to protect our ideals.

I am blessed to be touched by so many children at home, church, work and dance.

I am thankful for all God's blessings on my life and most importantly for His grace.

Thank you Lord for your goodness. Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Love is sharing cotton candy.

Love is letting your sister be the "Mommy" this time.

Love is helping pick out your sister's clothes.

Love is helping Mommy hold your sister down to take her medicine.

Love is holding your sister's hand in a scary situation.

Love is knowing that your sister doesn't "look" right and asking quickly for help.

These are real examples of our girls showing love one to another. For those of you who are not in our daily lives, let me fill you in on the events from yesterday afternoon.

I got a call from Stacey, who cares for our girls each afternoon, that Aleah had not been herself. Stacey could not put her finger on what was wrong but she sensed that Aleah was getting sick. She had checked her temperature. It was normal. In the couple minutes we were on the phone discussing Aleah's s day and me trying to convince Stacey that it was most likely just teething pain -- Aleah has four top teeth bulging under her top gums--our lives were turned upside down. In a matter of minutes while talking to me, Stacey changed from thinking she would take Aleah by the pediatrician after carpool, to deciding to turn her car around to head straight to the doctor. Then suddenly I hear "I'm calling 9-1-1"

That was how the ordeal started. As I frantically tried to reach Mark, I grabbed my keys, purse and was out the door. Hwy 47 and I-40 were a blur. I was on a mission. A mission to get to my little girl. I didn't really know what was happening, but I knew that I needed to be there...and quickly.

On the other end, as Stacey was talking to me on the phone she heard Avery, who is 3 years old, exclaim, "Ms. Stacey Aleah looks funny. She is not right." Stacey looked up into the rear view mirror. Aleah was shaking and turning blue. Stacey quickly pulled into the parking lot of a doctor's offife, called 9-1-1 and ran inside.

The ambulance arrived and got her stabilized. As they woked on her, Avery held her hand. Aleah soon would take her first ambulance ride to the hospital alone. (They would not let Avery and Stacey ride.)

Meanwhile, Mark and I rushed from work to the hospital not knowing what was happening. I don't remember driving...and thank the Lord for getting me there safely. We both made it to the hospital before her grand arrival. Mark's Aunt Sue was there waiting. We waited what seemed like an eternity.

My heart sank as the ambulance pulled in at the ED. What would we find inside? How was our little girl? Visions of breathing tubes and ventilators filled my imagination--memories I was not ready to relive--not here, not now, not ever. The abulance door opened as I wiped tears from my eyes...sitting inside perched up high in her car seat on top of the stretcher was our little Aleah smiling and waving! Really...I thought...the EMT must have seen it in my eyes as he chuckled and said, "Mrs. Johnson, she really was in bad shape. She looks great now."

She had been bluer than anyone he had ever seen. She had spiked a fever and had a seizure in response. Because she was in her car seat with her head to the side, we think her tongue must have been covering her airway.

After several hours of testing, antibiotics and trying to keep a one-year-old entertained we were released from the hospital (thankfully she had assembled a big fan club and enjoyed visits from MeMe, PaPa, Grandma and Granddaddy.) Cost of the high-power antibiotics=$150 (after insurance); Cost of the anbulance ride and ED visit=$250; Cost to have Aleah home in our arms=Priceless! What an afternoon and evening

Thankfully, it was only a urinary track infection that caused the fever. It is apparently very common to have a fever spike and seizure follow. We were told to watch her closely for fever and medicate quickly. Once a child seizes with fever it often reocurrs with fever until the child is 4 or 5! Here we go!

Aleah has only been in our lives for a little more than a year and she has raked up a NICU stay and two ED visits. Yes, she rules the roost around here! Aleah makes herself known. :)

We are blessed and thankful for all three of our little girls.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happy Birthday To You Sweet Aleah!

One year ago today, Aleah Kathryn Johnson took her first breath. What an incredible journey we were entering. Not just one of becoming parents again, but a journey of refinement and testing of our faith unlike anything Mark and I had ever been through. (And, for those of you who know us well, you know that is an incredible feat...from near death experiences to the most bizarre stories ever heard, we both have lived through a plethora of truly unique life experiences...none of which prepared us completely for the journey that lay ahead.) Over the next few hours, days, weeks and months we would witness God's grace and unbelievable, indescribable love through a true miracle. We have come to realize that having a child is an incredible miracle in and of itself. But to have your child's life in the hands and care of others...needing a miracle to something that cannot be topped. We clung to the Lord and placed our Hope on Him. And, as He promises, He was faithful.

We learned so much in the process. We saw a strength in each other that we had never known--a strength that can only be from the Lord. He carried us through each moment. We were surrounded in prayer and were lifted up by the outpouring of support of our family and friends. We thank each of you for loinign us on this journey. The power of prayer is beyond measure.

We count ourselves lucky to have walked through this journey for we have witnessed the work of the Lord and His glory. Aleah is the most precious, spunky, full of life little being that we have ever known. She can light up a room with her smile and melt your heart with the twinkle in her eyes. She is a blessing to us. Thank you, Lord for the gift of her life. Thank you for your miracle. Thank you for your grace and protection. As her name implies, may You always be exalted through her life. We can't wait to see what You have in store for her life! Happy Birthday to our Sweet Pea, Aleah!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Alivia's First Day of Kindergarten

How did we get from baby to Kindergarten so fast??? It is unbelieveable that our first baby girl is off into the wide, wide world. Yes, she can tie her shoe, write her full name, count to 100 and beyond, recite her alphabet, sound out, spell and read a few words, do simple math problems, recognize shapes and colors...she is more than ready. But we find it hard to believe that while we were busy living life she has grown-up right in front of our eyes...and Mommy's camera. It is only when we look at pictures that we realize how much she has changed. Our precious first sweetpea is off to new adventures! We love you Alivia and are so very proud of you!

Monday, May 31, 2010

May 2010

May has been a whirlwind month! Birthdays, dance recitals, school field trips, the Mother's Day tea at school, Mother’s Day, year-end parties, the end of the year program, and of course Alivia's graduation from preschool. And two of our three Sweet Peas spent time in the hospital. It is amazing that we found time to fit in a trip to Topsail for Memorial Day.

It has been a great month full of milestones.
Alivia turned five and graduated from preschool. Alivia and Avery both shined like little stars in the dance recital and the year end program. We were so very proud of them.
Avery had dental work and was such a big girl at the hospital. She gave us a show singing "Praise Jesus" and other favorite songs while waiting to go in for surgery! Avery also very much enjoyed her 3 year photography session with Ms. Geri. She was a peice of work posing, making silly faces, laughing and telling Geri "Just one more."
Aleah learned to wave, crawl, feed herself, to pull herself up to a standing position and her little personality continued to blossom. She smiles with her eyes and has started making silly faces to get everyone around her to smile. Aleah also took a trip to the hospital...the emergency room to be exact. She caught a stomach bug that left her nearly dehydrated after not being able to keep anything down for five days. Alivia, Avery and Daddy all caught it, too.

With all of this, thank goodness Daddy was only traveling the first week of the month. I don't think Mommy would have made it through with her sanity without his help. It takes both of us to keep the Johnson household together. And some days it feels like we just barely make it!

We are so blessed...and thankful that we have made it through the school year. We are ready for summer and a slower pace. (Who are we kidding? Does life ever really slow down??) We like the thought of it anyway. Here's to a quieter June!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Alivia Turns Five!

Amazing! Where does the time go...changing diapers, feedings and that beautiful tiny little face are just distant memories. Alivia, our first born precious little gift from heaven, turned five today. Mark and I are so proud of the person she has become. She is kind, loving, intelligent, thoughtful and works hard to do her best in every situation. At times that drive leads to an incecible desire to win. She is extremely competitive, strong willed and only wants to be a part if she knows she can win. She is always helpful and takes wonderful care of her sisters. Avery and Aleah light up when "Livi" walks in the room. What a great gift to have loving friends. I pray that our girls will always have a deep, loving friendship.

Today was a great day full of family time to honor our birthday girl (and my Grandma Polly who shares her birthday with Alivia.) Mark and I hosted a birthday lunch and party for both sides of our family. Twenty-two in all. Now that is a feat with challenges all its own. But add in that we never seem to do anything the easy way, and you have the recipe for a Johnson marathon. Places to be, people to see and very little sleep!

Mark was traveling the past two weeks with a couple of days at home in between. Wednesday and Thursday nights were dress rehearsal for our dance recital, Friday and Saturday nights were the full show...Avery, Christa and me (yes, I returned to the stage this year) danced Friday and Alivia, Christa and me danced Saturday night. Avery attended Chloe's birthday at Little Gym on Saturday afternoon and the list continues. It was a full weekend.

All in all we had a great time. Alivia was so excited to turn five. She was all smiles all weekend. The marathon ended with Mark heading back to the airport this afternoon for one more week away.

So, yes, if you are keeping track that is a busy mom who missed an entire night of sleep getting ready for a birthday party, after four nights of dance recitals, having to get three lively little ones tucked in and asleep, clean the house and prepare for a week without daddy. Whew! Thankfully Aunt Cari, Uncle David and Grandma and Granddaddy stayed around to help with the fun. (And, Grandma even baked the cupcakes for Alivia's class party, too!) I think I will sleep soundly tonight!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter!

"For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him should have everlasting life." John 3:16

Happy Easter from the Johnson Family!