Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sneak preview of the family Christmas photo…

Just a little bit of photo editing and look what we have – a lovely family, all bundled for the wintry, snowy (huh?) weather… hats included!  It really was cold, people!

Johnsen Family Christmas Photo 2010

Beach Trip


It seems a bit odd to be posting these photos now, when we were at the beach over 2 1/2 months ago, and it’s now getting blistery cold… but in an effort to forget about the temperature outside and my winter garb, as well as catch up a bit on posting, I thought I’d post away…! 

We spent a weekend in Ocean City, MD with our dear friends, Marvin & Dori.  It was beautiful mid-September weather, the temperature was in the 70’s, and we were thrilled to be hanging out in OC during “bike week!”  We didn’t know exactly what to expect, but it was a cultural experience, nonetheless.

Two preggers, two daddies, a super adorable toddler, lots of fantastic food, great company… what more could we ask for?!? 

Take a peak at some of my favorites from the get-away:

IMG_7160Still didn’t have a big enough belly to prevent me from carrying Sebbie in the Ergo on my front!  My, how things change in such a short period of time!

nanny dori & seb b&w Nanny Dori & Sebastian watching the waves.

IMG_7172 Loved, loved, loved to play in the sand!

daddy & seb beach Buried daddy!  Where’d his legs go?daddy in the sand


Evening stroll on the boardwalk…

IMG_7202That baby ended up weighing almost 10 pounds!  I’m sure it had nothing to do with Thrasher’s fries (see below)…IMG_0375Holy French fries!  I’ve never seen such a thing in all my life… but boy, were they delicious!  Not sure who ate more – Sebastian or the pregnant mommies! 

ocean city family 2One last walk on the beach before we loaded up the car and headed home, after a great weekend away.  It was time too apply aloe vera and drink lots of H2O, especially for the men-folk in the group! 

And after it was all said and done, I think we might go back for “bike week” again!  The price was right, and never mind the roaring motorcycle engines and too much leather for beach attire…!  It was a blessing to have a little escape and share a wonderful time with our friends!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Yummm!…Chocolate Chip pancakes

Saturdays are often the perfect time for a family breakfast of high fiber, whole grain pancakes. We start with a recipe in More With Less cookbook (p.74 – Apple Walnut pancakes) and then edit from there. Replace the white flower with spelt, oat bran & wheat germ. Use flaxseed oil for the oil or use 3 T of flax per 1 T of oil if you want extra fiber!

This particular day Kirsten had a hankerin’ for something sweet (not uncommon for the Johnsen Martins). So we added some chocolate chunks. I (daddy Tim) was trying to limit the chocolate in Seb’s pancakes --- b/c of the sugar & messyness---but some leaked thru. That’s why they make bibs :)

Ummmm...chocolate chip pancakes

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I’m a big boy!

Walking in daddy’s shoes!


IMG_7228 And I am sooo cute!  Catch me if you can!

Catching up on stats and Sebastian-isms

It’s been forever and a day since I posted the stats for Sebastian’s well child visits.  Fortunately, now that he’s older, they are more spaced out, so I’m not that far behind in number of visits, just the number of months that have gone by.  Sebbie continues to love to visit his Dr. Donna and nurse Acnery (expert shot-giver), and he always does so well! 

This is Mr. Cutie Pie’s 1 year visit, where he weighed 21 lbs, 5 oz.  He apparently wanted to have his eyes checked, because he wouldn’t let go of the eye shield for the visual acuity exam. 


Here’s the 15 month visit, where he checked in at 23 lbs, 12 ozs. 

This time around he wasn’t willing to give up the snack cup, so we might have to calculate a couple of ounces less to account for the goldfish!



I’m beginning to feel like one of those moms who does a fantastic baby book for their 1st child, but all the others lose out on all the details of growth and development, because the daily ins and outs of life get in the way… except that it started happening around the time my 1st baby was just 9 months old!  There’s always the need to balance living life and writing about it, but since I don’t have a baby book, this blog is my record of all things Sebastian.

A few other details about Sebbie:

  • He now has 4 1/2 teeth (he’s slow to grow ‘em, but they say they’re stronger teeth when they come in later?!?).
  • He signs and/or understands about 15-20 words in American Sign Language – we’ll have to get a video up soon of some of his signs.
  • He doesn’t just walk, but rather runs everywhere.
  • One of his favorite things is bath-time, and he sometimes even asks for it when he first wakes up or when it’s the middle of the afternoon.
  • He knows that mommy has a baby in her belly and gives hugs, kisses and gentle touches to the baby.
  • He stopped nursing just before he turned 16 months – this was particularly hard for me, but probably a good thing for both of us, since it allows me to prepare for the next little one, and it allows Sebastian to be used to not nursing in preparation for his little sibling. This was a Sebastian-driven decision, which I suppose made it easier for me, as opposed to feeling like I needed to wean him.
  • His favorite things to play with these days are his Weebles tree house (birthday gift from cousins Isaac and Lauryn), and his Melissa and Doug animal magnets and miniature puzzles.  These have provided hours and hours of entertainment!
  • The sweetest things are his hugs and kisses for mommy, daddy and others, and most endearing is when he sees his cousin, Ryan (4 months older), they always embrace and share nuks!

We continue to count it such a joy and a blessing to parent this little charmer of a guy!  He has definitely begun to have his moments of terrible twos (who said it was OK for this to happen early?… temper tantrums at 16 months, really?!?), but he is still a happy camper for the most part, smiling and waving at all, flirting with the ladies all the time, and making our lives more complete. 

Visiting West Virginia

We had a fantastic long weekend visit to West Virginia over Labor Day weekend this year.  The weather was perfect, the company fantastic, and overall we had a super time away.  The drive was l-o-n-g, but Sebastian and pregnant mommy both did surprisingly well.  We were welcomed into the home of Cristy and her parents.  Our dear friend Cristy is living in Malawi, serving as the medical director at a large Seventh Day Adventist hospital, and she typically makes it home every summer for about 5-6 weeks of visiting.  She usually makes the trek to Lancaster to see us, but this year she asked if we would visit her parents’ home in WV, and we were thrilled to head south and west.  It was a blessing to get away, to be in a home full of lovin’, en joy the beautiful outdoors, and eat fabulous food! 

Here are some of my favorite shots from the weekend…

All of the gang (minus me, the photographer), hiking at a nearby park. 


The happy family of three plus a little extra JM growing inside…


We spent a whole day on the nearby lake, soaking up the Indian Summer sun, water-skiing (except for pregnant mamas and little toddlers)… Timmy picked up fast, after having not skied in probably 20 years. 


Cristy skied with glamour, grace and confidence, just as she completes most tasks:


And Steve was a sportster pro, doing all sorts of fancy tricks!


Sebastian was not so convinced about being in the water…


but he loved driving the big boat, and he took his job very seriously!

Donna and Sebbie bonded well, and she did a great job of shading his pale skin from the sun. 


We had a great time, all smiles!




Many, many thanks to Cristy, Donna and Steve for a lovely weekend in WV!  We’ll be back again… maybe with another little munchkin in tow next time!

Cristy, we love you bunches, miss you and hope you’re well!  One of these days we’ll share adventures in Malawi. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Oh, they taste good!

Our little boy sure likes things sweet. You know those generic Cheerios called ‘Ohs’. He seemed so fine with those until he got a taste of animal crackers. Not sure why they call them crackers since they are really a cookie. But, if Seb is the authority on whether they are a cracker or cookie, we’ll have to go with cracker---he gives the cracker sign every time he wants some. It was the fastest he learned any of the signs—check out this video to see the ASL version… Seb’s is a bit more animated, but still need to catch it on video.

Back to the ‘Ohs’. I found a way to reintroduce them today. Being a stay at home dad this week it is time for some more experimentation. I decided to let him dunk his ‘Ohs’ in his yogurt after he initiated. Maybe he saw daddy dunk some tasty treats in his coffee [That’s right…I am a dunker!]. Sure it was messy and more to clean up. But, he did eat them and look at how much he was enjoying himself.

mmm...yogurt Ohs

This self-feeding thing is messy. Of course, I had to think how anything I do the first few times is equally messy. As an adult I often don’t want to admit that. Though, seeing life through the eyes of a child helps me to offer an extra measure of grace to myself and others. Some extra grace, now we’re talkin’ sweet.

  dunkin' Ohs

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

Fall seems to be upon us!  It was a perfect day in West Virginia for pumpkin patch pictures last Sunday.  The Shanks graciously shared their pumpkins with us and Seb went to town exploring all of the pumpkins – big and small – around.  There were some ginormous pumpkins around!  And Sebbie even got to bring one home = one happy camper!









Sebastian has an announcement!

Our little tyke is getting not-so-little anymore.  In fact, he’s running around all over the place keeping us on our toes.  He has had a special announcement that he has wanted to share for awhile now, so I finally told him it was OK to spread the news!  Check out his t-shirt, which tells all…

Big Brother Seb

That’s right… Sebastian is going to be a big brother!!!  He expects a special delivery around the end of February or beginning of March. 

We’re very excited to share this news!  I’ve been feeling great (except for being tired), and I’m incredibly thankful for that, because work has been absolutely, overwhelmingly crazy… and I wouldn’t have been able to do “work” had I been sick.  Hallelujah! 

We covet your prayers as I continue to grow this new life inside of me.  Thanks for continuing to walk the journey with us.  Love to all!

And… a poem from Tim, definitely worthy of sharing:

late in the month of Feb
we'll see another Seb
our family will grow this much I know
be it a boy or girl
we'll take either for a whirl
the ride is sure amazin'
even if sometimes hair raisin'
we certainly are not pros
yet our wisdom each day grows
resting on each other and God
our heads bow, wobble and nod

Oregon, here we came!

Our dear friends, Jennifer Gwen & Seth James, got hitched in Portland.  We were honored to attend their lovely ceremony in a beautiful setting – a gorgeous estate turned into gardens, endless fields of blackberries, a golf course, and a gazillion different places to eat and lodge.  

IMG_6882Our little guy looked quite dapper in his guayabera, and was a big hit with all the girls, but he was a bit too interested in all the things to see and do on the grounds to catch much of the ceremony.  Daddy Tim was the self-designated entertainer, so he missed a bunch of the ceremony, but was totally there in spirit, nonetheless.

IMG_6891IMG_6902Their flowers were just lovely (as you can see above, Sebastian thought so too!)…


And of course the bride was as stunning as ever. 

IMG_6904The happy couple was glowing with beams of light after they were officially pronounced (and maybe I was shooting directly into the sunlight, which may have contributed to the glow :)…).   Regardless, they looked so happy, at peace and in love!

The next day we went on a group hike in a nearby park/arboretum.  The weather was gorgeous – hot for Portland, but just right for us, with no humidity, which was such a treat, compared to what we had left at home.


IMG_6934 Here’s the newlyweds with Jennifer’s parents.   IMG_6933 And Jennifer with her papa!

IMG_6917Of course Sebastian was a happy camper, like usual, in the Ergo enjoying nature and chillin’ with his parents. 

The tales of our trip would not be complete without showing you all what Sebastian found most entertaining about our hotel room in Portland:

IMG_6941The day before we travelled home, we took a drive to the Oregon coast, which was beautiful.  It was about 20 degrees cooler than Portland, so a bit of a shocker, but it felt great to hear the waves crashing against gigantic rocks and cliffs and feel the cold, wet sand in between our toes. 

Here are my two favorite boys:


All three of us…

IMG_6953 And my beach glamour shot, thanks to Tim!


It was a bit of a whirlwind trip, but we had a great time, were thankful for a little getaway, and enjoyed ourselves.  Sebastian even survived the non-stop, almost six hour plane ride across the country.  He did amazingly well adjusting to the time change, while his parents struggled a bit to stay up late at night and not get up so early in the morning.  If only a 4 day trip could have been a week or 10 days!  Maybe next time… :)

Congrats to Jennifer & Seth!  We love you guys!  Mua!

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