(Disclaimer... before reading this, please, please, please read Jen Hatmaker's post In the Basement.
Please.   I don't care where you stand of the Chick-fil-a controversy.  If you are a human, you need to read it.  Now.  Go...)

My family is no stranger to Chick-fil-a campouts.
We love them.  They are fun and crazy and sometimes hard, but always worth it.

Last week we spent a better part of a day preparing for one.
Jason put a vacation day request in at work.
We packed the car.  PACKED.
If you have ever gone camping, you know that it pretty much takes the same amount of work, gear and prep, regardless of if your stay will be one night or one week.  The only thing that changes is the food.
A heck of a lot of stuff.

We woke up in the dark, and headed out.
Us and 350 some other crazy people.
Sad, sleepy, Shane tucked into the Ergo.

Nervous excitement as we each were handed a ticket for the raffle.

Scanning the crowd, we knew our odds were not great.
But I had faith.  I hoped upon hope that either my ticket or Jason's would be picked.

One by one, each number was called.
We cheered and screamed when it was someone from our group.
Fifty were picked.
Then 75.
Then 95.
My hope stood firm.

I awaited my numbers.
Still not picked.

On to the alternates.
We were not among them
No chicken for us.

I was fine.  Happy for our friends that were chosen.  
Sort of happy that I wouldn't have to sleep in a hot parking lot.

We walked back to our cars.
Jason ended up going into work anyway.
I went home to unpack.

My peace about the situation dissipated.  My disappointment set in.  I let myself wallow in it for a bit.
Convinced myself that we deserved to be picked.
How much we needed to be picked.
In this time of extremely limited "fun" money, and with the days of all the kids sharing one meal long gone, going out to eat together has become a rare luxury.

I wasted away the day with a raincloud over my head.

Dumb. So very dumb.

My whole life is really a luxury.  The fact that we still have tickets leftover from previous campouts is a luxury.  

The simple truth that we have never, ever, ever, for a single day gone hungry, is a luxury.

Yes, we didn't get picked.  Yes, it is in my nature to be disappointed.
But it is in God's nature to see past our small, silly, sadness and to enable us to look beyond our circumstances.

People are legitimately starving all over the world.
Hope for Sudan has a plan to help remedy that need.
My heart breaks.  My heart wants to help.

Thank you so very much for your hearts to help.  
They are halfway to their goal.

Our God is the God of hope.
His love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out.

(Two new printables are available in the shop.
Each one feeds 83 people.
Even better than a year of free Chick-fil-a.)

(P.S.  If you want to leave a comment about Chick-fil-a no matter which side you are on, I will delete it.    This is not the place or the post for that.  I'm in the basement.)

When I am stressed I am crazy productive.  
Anything to keep my mind from spinning sideways into the dark and twisty road to panic.

Stress was creeping in.

A project was in order.

It had to be cheap.
It had to be easy.

Time and money are short these days.

Pinterest to the rescue.
(Remember the less pininng, more doing?
I'm not doing too well at that.  Are you?)

This was something that I have wanted to do forever and ever.
Something that part of me didn't really believe was as easy as it claimed.

Well, my friends.  It was.
Just as easy.  
Just as cheap.

For reals.

I just adore this picture of Jason and I, taken by Drew during our sunshine session last year.
Awwwww.  Aren't we the cutest?
I wanted it giant in our room.
Without a giant price.
A girl can dream.....

I took my baby boy off to do manly things at Home Depot and got a sheet of this hardboard.  It is big enough to make two more, so maybe go in on this project with two other friends.  More saving and more doing.  Home Depot tells it like it is.

Two things I love: 
The dude that uses this giant saw to cut wood for me.
The Ergo, so I can push the big lumber cart, full of the wood the dude cuts.
(I had him cut it to 30x48 inches, because that was the size of the space on the wall.)

I ordered an engineering print from Staples, honestly not expecting much.
The uploading is fussy, it took some rigging and some failed attempts.  Keep trying, and make sure your picture is uploaded as a portrait, not landscape.  It won't flip it for you automatically.
(I ordered the 36x48 size.)
The nice lady at Staples was actually surprised at the details that it was able to pick up.
So was I.
I mean for six bucks, seriously, six bucks....

 The paper is crazy thin.  Up super close it has a xerox vibe, but from a bit away, it is sort of a cool artsy xerox vibe.
Thin and fragile.
I was all prideful and thought it needed more than just folding it over the sides and duct taping it, so I got all creative with spray adhesive.


It will bubble and be weird, and I think that the paper has a coating that repels spray adhesive, so I just had a bubbly, sticky, frustrating mess.

Stay away from the Mod Podge.  Stay away from the spray adhesive.  Just line up your print on a board that is slightly smaller than your print, neatly fold it over, and duct tape it like crazy to the back.
Then go upstairs, try not to be mad that your air conditioning is broken because an evil rat chewed through the wires, (why do they eat wires?  why do they exist?) get crazy gross and sweaty as you hang it up by yourself because your husband has been traveling like whoa, and step back and be happy that you made something rad.

Then when he finally gets home, sees it for the first time, and while he looks at it, he gives you a nervous smile because he is thinking...
oh cuss, how much did this woman just spend????????

You can then bat your eyelashes and tell him it was less than ten bucks.

Then he will say 143 babe.  Because you dated back in the days of pagers, and you still say 143.

(linking up with Jess because she is my fave.)

I hardly remember what life was like before Shane was a part of our family.  Maybe because I spent a huge chunk of the last year drowning in an ever increasing sleep debt.  I also don't remember being so deeply sad to see a first birthday creep rapidly closer on the calendar.
The year has been a beautiful, difficult, growing, changing, lovely, fulfilling, blur.

Our baby boy is one.

Our lives are so rich, so full, so joyful.
The friends and family who surround us, do life with us, raise kids alongside us, support and encourage us, are more than we could ever ask for or deserve.

We are beyond abundantly blessed.
Blessed and deeply thankful.

Thankful for an evening at the beach surrounded by so much love, celebrating our Shane.

(All captured by my dear friend Drew, who daily overwhelms me with her generosity and ability to capture these magnificent fleeting moments.  Thank you friend.  We treasure you and your family so much.)

Some of my fave moments from the week...

 Totally normal and not creepy at all.
P.S.  Saw Spiderman.  Loved it.

 A birthday double date.
So fun.

 The day he was born is my fave.



Working on my fitness.

Lakers trade stress.

Would you consider helping spread the word about Hope for Sudan?
Want to win some rad prizes?
Visit Keeping Up With the Johnson's for the deets.

life rearranged

My kids are rad.
They have giant hearts.
They love Jesus.
They want to learn about the world around them.

During VBS this week they also want to beat the boys in fundraising.
Do you blame them?  
Girls rule.

There was talk of a lemonade stand, which quickly turned into a cupcake stand.
They decided to give half of the sales to VBS which is raising money to purchase Memory Bags for Royal Family Kids Camps, and half to our friends from Hope For Sudan, who are mobilizing a massive feeding program.
 While the little ones slept, we baked and frosted.
We iced water bottles.
Halley made signs.
We gathered cute decorations for our table.
We talked about location, location, location (Our street has virtually no traffic.  No traffic = no sales.)

It was decided to park our stand out in front of youth group.
Hungry teenagers cannot resist the cupcake slinging of little faces.
The cupcakes went like hotcakes.  If hotcakes were cupcakes.
In one little evening, the girls raised way more money than they ever hoped.

Enough money for over a thousand meals in Sudan, and quite a few Memory Bags.
All because they wanted to bake cupcakes.

In this season we cannot give much financially.
We cannot go to Africa.
But we can bake cupcakes.
I can make some printables.
We can use our small things for the work of a very big God.

I love how Jess put it:
"We’re not all called to go to Africa.
But we’re all called to do something."

What is your something?

(100% of sales will be donated to Hope for Sudan.)

Stumbled upon this water bottle on Pinterest (bummed it's no longer available...), loved the sentiment.
Made my own spin on it.

Download yours here.
Or a running version here.

Sadly to say, my old troubled knees might have ended my running career before it had a chance to really start.
But not my sweating/ eating dessert career.  I cannot retire from that.

What?  You don't have a jar full of leftover peanut butter chocolate chip buttercream in your fridge?
Do something about that.  Then go be sweaty.

We just got back from a week of summer camp with many of our favorite Jr. High and High Schoolers.
Is there anything in the world like summer camp?
Sigh... the memories...

One thing we ask our students while we are on trips, is to take a break from social media.
If we want them to, how could I not also?

Not that it is bad, evil, or wrong... 

However, once in a while a break is good.
So good.

Guess what happens when you don't check up on what is going on in other people's lives?
You spend time sharing life with the people right in front of you.

You fully live in the moment without having to stop and share it.
Old school style.

Old school is rad.

I dare you to take a break.  It might not be easy, but I bet it will be worth it.

(All pics edited with the Magic Hour app.)

Link up your small moments.
life rearranged

My girls got to adventure in the warm setting sun, modeling dresses for dear friend Angi and her mama Patti, for their rad shop, Sew Sweet Patterns.
Multiple wardrobe changes were involved.   Multiple lollipops were consumed.
It really doesn't get cuter than little girls in dreamy handmade dresses.
It doesn't.

(The Stella dress.  Lucy is obsessed.)

Later that week, Leslie and I ventured down to a golden field, (apparently full of rattlesnakes, of which I have NO ISSUES WITH...) all fancy and modelish, to be a part of the awesome that is Allora Handmade.

Wardrobe changes in the minivan were involved.  Who needs lollipops when there are rosies involved?
Oh the rosies.  The lovely rosies.
I charming string of rainbow rosies stole my heart.  They had to come home with me.  There was really no choice.
(snapped by the hawt, super modely, Jacqui of Baby Boy Bakery)

 (Leslie being really, really, really, ridiculously, good looking, 
in front of the camera of Nina from Blackbird Ink.)

 (Me.  Being a dork.  Snapped by Leslie.  This blue is my total color crush right now.)

As good as guys have it in life, it's pretty fun once in a while to be a girl!