What is Your Story: Reflections 2016

Every year a few of my kids like to enter the Reflections contest that we have at our school. Claire had taken this picture of trails splitting on a hike we had gone on this summer. She entered it into reflections relating it to how your story is determined by the path we take and no matter what path you take, you can get a great story. It was pretty creative and she won the Award of Excellence (the highest award) for photography and advanced on to the next level. Nice job Claire!

Claire and Principal Reed Hodson

Homecoming 2016

It is another first for the Johnson household. Jake attended his first dance. He decided to ask Kambri to homecoming by leaving Ding Dongs on her doorstep saying something to the effect “I would be a ding dong to not ask you to homecoming.” She responded with a bag of Dum-Dum and the sign as shown below. They both seemed super excited to go with each other and in my biased opinion they were the cutest couple ever!


The day date (because that is what everyone does these days) started at 9:30 am. The group, a bunch of Jake’s buddies, picked up their dates and went to Top Golf and then to Costa Vida for lunch. I got very little details about this part of the date, but I heard they had a blast and Jake crushed everyone (that is what he always says though so you never know).


After the day portion of the date, they came home to prepare for the dinner, dance and after party. Jake looked super handsome and super nervous. 🙂 He was so concerned that he do everything correctly. He wanted to be sure he put the corsage on right, opened the door, introduced himself to her parents. It was really quite adorable.

Oakley’s mom, Jenny, offered to host dinner at her home and the other mom’s agreed to bring items. The menu was:

Appetizer Board: fruit cheese nuts crackers hummus etc.

Wedge salad with bacon feta ranch heirloom tomatoes

Grilled marinated pork tenderloin

Baked potato-rubbed in olive oil and kosher salt

Homemade rolls or artisan bread

I was assigned the wedge salad. Everything turned out so nice. Jenny has a beautiful home with a perfect kitchen to accommodate all the commotion. Everyone seemed super impressed with the food and a lot of fun was had by all.




Jenny also happens to be a retired photographer so she whipped out her camera and took amazing pics of all the kiddos (she even had props!). 🙂







What an amazing group of kids! They were so sweet and grateful for everyone’s help on their behalf. Jake even made a special effort to give me a hug before I left.

Apparently after the dinner they all headed to the dance and had a blast. After the dance, they went back to Jason’s house for brownies and ice-cream. Jake came knocking on our door around 2 am all smiles. He said they all had an amazing time. That is what I love to hear!

Claire’s field trip to Timpanogos Cave

I volunteered to go with Claire’s class to hike up to Timpanogos Cave in American Fork Canyon. I have been fortunate enough to have gone on this fifth grade field trip with Miss Louw’s class three times in the past. I always volunteer because I love it. If you’re going to go on a field trip with 35 fifth graders, it is hard to beat being outside with beautiful scenery and lots of excited kids. Plus, it provides a some good morning exercise as well.


The class was broken up into six groups. We were the lead group and Miss Louw spaced every group about five minutes apart. We had to stop at each number and read the brochure and discuss the rocks, lichen, canyon, animals, etc. Then the students document it by taking notes and pictures.



Unfortunately, because of all the stops we are unable to tour the cave at the top of the canyon. However, our group made really good time getting to the top and the ranger, Deb, really took a liking to us and let us take a sneak peak in the first two caves. The kids were so excited so see the rocks and formations.

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We enjoyed walking down the trail on our way back catching views of the things we missed on the way up. It is such a great little hike. The kids were surprisingly well behaved. Plus, I got to spend some quality time with Claire, which doesn’t happen nearly enough in our big family of eight.


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Lunch at the end…food never tasted so good! 🙂

Drew earned his wolf rank!

Drew went into scouts back in January. He absolutely loves scouts. He is always asking what he can work on to earn his next achievement. He is a bit of an overachiever. Well thanks to his leader, Marnie Jones, and Drew’s determination, he earned his wolf badge this week.

He was pretty excited to have to dig through the whip cream (no hands!) to get his badge. We are proud of our new wolf!




Jake’s summer business: Lawn Rangers

In the summer of 2014, Jake started his own business. He started edging lawns and got several neighbors interested. So, Jake plunged in.

We had an old edger that Manina bought from a yard sale. But Jake knew from edging our own lawn that that machine just wasn’t an option for a commercial lawn care business. So in April 2014, he secured a $400 loan from his grandpa Mike with the promise to pay it back in August with $5 interest. He researched a few models and ended up purchasing a McLane 801 edger and Hitachi leaf blower from Amazon. He also invested in a hand edger for curves and tricky-to-reach spots. He worked hard that summer and had no trouble paying back the loan.


Jacob has worked hard the last couple summers, slowly adding more clients. He takes pride in his work and loves to drive by his customer’s lawns and point out how good they look.

For this 2016 lawn season, Jake purchased a new weed whacker and a new self-propelled lawn mower to add to his equipment. He’s offering full-service lawn care and has even talked a friend into working with Jake on some of his bigger jobs — his first “employee”.

He has a bunch of clients around the neighborhood and seems to add new ones all the time. This keeps him plenty busy during the summer.


For Jake’s birthday, we made him a couple T-shirts with a logo we had designed by his Uncle Matt Thurman (thanks, Matt!).


I’ve had more than one of his customers come up and tell me what a great job Jake is doing. Even the owner of Bunker Lawn Care (Jake’s biggest competition) came up to me and told me how proud I should be of how hard Jake works. People are taking notice and it’s starting to pay off.

Keep up the good work, Jake!