Friday, August 30, 2013

Go, Fight, Win!

Volleyball season has hit with all the force of *Taylor cramming a ball onto my **platform. In other words, Kyla, Kelsey and I are busy practicing, playing, and riding the bus. When I say "riding a bus" I don't mean sitting thirty minutes in traffic for a game ten miles away. I mean spending 2-5 hours on our small, yellow beast driving to far off corners of the earth that I didn't know existed. Truth is, sometimes they barely do. = ) This is cool however, because we have lots of time to speak with our teammates about things that really matter.

Daddy has always stressed the importance of doing things as a family. We thought volleyball might be an exception but...

While we play, Daddy is busy buying uniforms, supporting the school, coaching us, and wearing out his voice being "head cheer leader." With contagious enthusiasm, Daddy wields his massive orange traffic cone (which actually got confiscated at one point because it was distracting the officials) and leads all Dufur fans in loud, thundering cheers. I love hearing the crowd's united voice, knowing Daddy is once again banding together and inspiring the masses.

Mother delights in hosting team dinners and giving us creative and time consuming "team" ideas. She's always ready to run to the store for craft supplies and is a massive fan of "team bonding" and team spirit. Pretty much every new piece of clothing Mother brings home for the little kids is red, black, or white (including hats, jackets, and toys).

"We can wear them at your games," she beams.

One example of Mother's team spirit ideas: A short ditty we wrote last minute for a team dinner  along with some elementary yet cheerful banging we called "accompaniment." The "Ooohs" were when the whole team sang along. 

Last but not least, all the younger kids are cheerfully riding our own "Ranger Fan Van," proudly sporting excessive amounts of window paint, to attend games in their spirit outfits. They make up a strong force of the Lady Ranger's biggest, yet smallest, fans.

It's no wonder we our are all worn out by the end of the season. It's a family affair.
Varsity. Ghetto locker room in the basement. Pumped for our first game of the Season!

Thanks for all the support you guys! 

*Taylor (#1 and a powerful outside hitter on our team) 
** Platform (when you put your arms together to pass it's called a "platform")

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

21 Things You Learn on a 3100 Mile Road Trip... 7 days, with 13 people, in a 15 passenger van

1. 13 people will fit in the front two seats of a van...if the conversation is good enough.

2. You can wait to use the restroom hours longer than you think (or probably should).

3. Pistachio shells, should be dropped in a designated dropping area vs. being scattered on every surface to provide in-car massages.

4. When you're in the middle seat, your only scenery will be your two bookend seat mates (definitely something to consider if you will be sitting in the middle for very long).

    In order to preserve family unity we will not mention any names. ; )

6. When choosing lunch stops, majority rules.

7. In n' Out is in Utah! If given the slightest opportunity, go!

8. Sling shots and footballs should NOT be allowed in the van.

9. Expect to be burrowing under the seats for 15 minutes prior to all stops digging for shoes. If you're lucky, you might find a pair (Kloe may or may not have been seen going into Taco Bell with one size ten high heel, and one white, right, flop on her left foot).

10. Mad Libs, Boggle, and Louis 'Lamor on tape are awesome!

11. If verging on boredom, repeat the phrase "Johnson's are never bored" 20x or--my preferred method--begin eating snacks.

12. The speed limit in Wyoming, and Utah (and pretty much everywhere but Oregon) rules!

13. Do NOT put Chipoltle leftovers under Daddy's seat without telling anyone for 48 hours. The results are somewhere along the lines of a bean/diaper scented air freshener.

14. The rule "You must drink the WHOLE water bottle doesn't seem to work." Halfies are now reserved for 12 and under.

15. The Van gets smaller each year...

16. Don't bring a ukulele in the van when you only know 2's out of tune, and you forgot the string names.

17. Joel Rosenberg (More specifically "The Damascus Countdown") + Road trips are like ice cold Ginger Ale on a hot day--a welcome break, refreshing, engaging, and finished all too soon.

18. Who brushes their teeth in the morning and who should...

19. Highlights of the road trip include: Choking on the numerous tear jerkers as Daddy reads Ralph L. Moody's "Man of the Family."

20. You CAN still fit on the floor to sleep...anything is possible. Cons? Wiggle room is prohibited. Pros? No one will fight you for your spot.

21. It's amazing that I can be cramped next to a person for hours, know all their weaknesses, realize that they know all mine, fight over ridiculous things (of course making-up afterward), and say exactly what I want with out having to worry "what will they think?" They put their feet in my face, see me when I need to "change the oil in my hair," tell me when I'm a crab, and WAY worse yet we still love each other...a lot! That's family for you. No one but family. What a beautiful unit God planned.
This doesn't look as crowded as it feels...oh yeah, Bentley, Daddy, and Mother are not pictured; neither are the mountains of "cannot-part-with" stuff on the floor. 

 Full of gratitude for the good times...even happier that we are home!
                     ~Me...with the unlimited help and approval of all the faces in this picture. I love you guys!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Snapshots of the Simple Things

What can I write about? As I look back over the majority of this summer, I see a bunch of good times, fun memories, and a crazy schedule. Recently however, there have been no big trips, startling realizations, or dramatic adventures to blog about. Yet life has been so full--so meaningful. Each simple day holds so much joy.

Delight in the everyday stuff!

I have discovered that if I am not joyful today, there is nothing in tomorrow that will bring me joy. I can't think "I will be happy if I get, or if I do, or if I become..."and be joyful right now. Happiness is a choice, and I can be cheerful exactly where I am, every minute of the day! Praise God!

In an attempt to capture a bit of our spring & summer, I posted some "everyday" pictures. However simple they may be, these photos speak volumes to God's faithfulness.

His blessings are all around us in the everyday moments...sometimes we just have to stop and soak them up.

My poor photo subjects were suffering from the cold in early spring...I caught them huddling for warmth when they thought I was busy shooting Kloe's pics. Kimmy is such a sweet big sister! There's a lot I can learn from her.

Looking out the window early in the morning I saw Bay learning from some awesome mentors (and probably enjoying some "man time"). Sure, there are only three brothers in our family, but they are man enough for all eight of us girls!

Daddy, giving Uncle Wade and Aunt Joscelyn a "blossom blessing." =) Spontaneous and random is the way we roll.

Kare-bear takes "follow-the-leader" to a whole new level. Glancing outside I saw her turning yard work into an awesome game!

Best buds playing house. Way too cute for words.

Smiling because it's over...we can be friends again. ; )

Capturing my beautiful Mother and slightly perplexed-looking sister at a friends home.

I can't tell you how many times someone says... "can you imagine if we didn't have Kordi?" Groans follow. What would life be without this chubby ball of cheerfulness?
This used to be Kyla, Kelsey and I! Our whole family is constantly entertained with these three girl's shows.

Getting ready to serve late night snacks at The Achademy. I love these girls! We have way too much fun together (if that is possible).

Achademy Squad #9

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Kyla rocked this ride and she was willing to document Dog River Trail. 

Watch out! Modern-day Robin Hood is teaching my Mama to shoot!
Bentley puts so much energy into everything he does.

So, I'll admit I look a bit too excited about my avocado facial. Then again, we are delighting in the little things right? 

All in all it has been a splendid spring/summer! Jesus gives so much joy in the simple pleasures of life. Over the past couple months I have found that the greatest riches are often hidden in the smallest things. I am so blessed to have so much to smile about!

With much joy,

                         Kathryn Joy