I am okay with giving myself a break

I LOVE being a mom, there is no job I would rather do.  There are mostly good moments in a day, and then intermingled there are some moments of wanting to escape.  Sweet Jamesy Boy was teething this past week, he had a hard week, which meant that I had a hard week.  I always thought I was a patient person, until I became a mom and then I realized I had a long ways to go.


After Jamesy boy was born I figured out what was hard for me having small little angels at foot all the time.  I never got to do what I wanted to do.  While my little boys are awake, all I wanted to do was clean the house, all I wanted to do was read a book, do anything but feel trapped.

To be honest though, when I do have time to myself, I very rarely do anything productive.  For some reason when the boys are a sleep it is my break from anything productive.  Some days I feel guilty about it, and other days I do not.

I finally had clarity of mind that for me I need to pace myself.  I cannot go, go, go all the time.  And the times that I have tried that technique, I start falling apart during the bewitching hour.  By the way I love the word bewitching, who thought of that phrase is a genius!  So I have rejuvenating times, they are called naptime, and when the kids go to bed.

During these times I should be exercising, reading the scriptures, writing on a blog, cleaning the house, making dinner, fulfilling church assignments but instead I find myself taking a nap, staring at the computer, or something else that is completely useless. But you know what these priceless hours rejuvenate me to be handle the intense parts of the day, or shall I say when my boys are not at school or napping:)

Everyone has their own way to cope with how to get through the day, and this is mine. And that is why for the most part while I should feel guilty, I feel like I am learning how to get through this gig of being a mom with small little children, that love you so much and require so much, HAPPILY!



Link Party Tips and Highlights


I have such a fun time linking up to all the fun parties out there. And have learned some tips along the way, that might help you out!

Tips and Tricks!

1. The Earlier the Better it is to link up your post, because the more exposure you will get as people are going through the list either to post their own link or anyone else passing through.

2. It is nice to comment on Links that inspire you. Not only is it a friendly gesture. But I know that every person who has commented on the Hoops by Hand blog, I immediately go to their blog to see who they are, and see in what way I can support them by pinning posts on their blog, and liking their Facebook page.

3. Do not spend to much time Linking up that you get so sick of linking up that you never want to do it again! Slow and steady wins the race. Set a limit whether it be blogs you link up to or the amount of time you want to spend linking up to. Because there will always be more Link Parties out there and it will get overwhelming. Which is why I always support the Link parties who leave a comment on my blog and who I felt I have developed a relationship with.

4. When you are amongst the blogs linking every week, you will find opportunities to promote you blog. On Christina’s Adventures, and Naptime Creations, they were asking for someone who would like to guest post and I was more than happy to. And they were kind enough to let me:) I never would have known about it though if I had not been linking up to their blogs on a consistent basis.

5. Do not spend so much time Linking up that you do not have enough time to create something for your blog! Remember the content of your blog is the most important thing. Because lets be honest, Linking up to parties could be a full time job, with how many there are out there. So focus on your blog content and if you happen to miss Link Parties that week, you can always link up your project the next week. It is more important to keep your audience captivated!

Here are some Link Parties to help you get Started

101+ Link Parties – I appreciate the blogs that have a section where they link up to because when I was starting out, I did not know the first thing about where to begin, until I found My Girlish Whims and her list:)

Night Before Link Parties – These parties help me be on the top of the Link Party list when I am not able to link first thing in the morning.

Link Party Highlights

1. When someone leaves me a comment on Hoops By Hand I get so excited! Because of their kindness in leaving me a message, I try to respond to their message by saying Thank you or try to answer their question. I feel it is the least I can do for them taking time out of their day to leave such a nice comment.

2. Hoops by Hand was featured and to say that we were excited, would be a total understatement! When Hoops by Hand was featured, I instantly liked their page, became a follower and instantly became their biggest fan.

3. I love to pin a lot as I am browsing through the Link Parties while linking up my own. This helps the pinterest world because you are providing the most current ideas that are on the web.

Tales of the Shop

ANG56 My parents are in California right now in fact they are at Disneyland. Why? Because they are bringing my brother Thomas and his lovely wife back home to Utah! I am a little jealous to say the least! This picture was taken on my Senior trip to California, it was a great trip and is known as the “Lighthouse trip” because while I was walking towards the lighthouse on the beach my family was looking for me… Luckily it all worked out, and my family will not let me forget about my ambitious walk:)

The Mighty Icy Chill of Niagara Falls!

This winter has been COLD!  February came in with a vengeance, and we are still in shell shock.  It is now the middle of April and Grant still insists on putting on his down coat, just in case something cold comes our way!


We have been to Niagara Falls twice, I guess it is a yearly venture.  It is a sad thing really because we live a mere 45 minutes away from pure AWESOMENESS!


We were told that because of the cold weather, the ice on Niagara was extraordinary.


So at the beginning of March on a semi warm day of 30 degrees we headed out to this natural wonder and we were not disappointed in the least.

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Niagara Falls is one of those places that to believe something this incredible exists, you just have to see it live.


It was so spectacular even Zach who is our dare devil made sure no one neared the mighty falls.


We are so grateful to be able to live this Canadian adventure.

We even were able to get a Canadian out of this venture as well!


Who loves me more than words can say!

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Bennett was super aware of the danger of the Falls!
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And to top it all off, we went to our favorite Timmy’s


Skate the Dream

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would put any of my kids in hockey.  Even in Canada I saw the going rate of what hockey costs, and I thought…um no.  BUT then a miracle happened.  There is a program called Skate the Dream that costs a mere 10 dollars.  For your 10 dollars you get to borrow all the hockey equipment and they clean it for you for the following week.


The course runs for 9 sessions from January to March, it happens every Monday from 6-8 pm.  Coaches provided, basically the works. So all this combined, I thought…all right all right.  I guess I’ll sign my sweet Zach up for hockey.


And guess what?  He loved it!  There are so many layers of pads and a helmet that when you fall, it does not hurt.

I don’t think we have a professional hockey player on our hands.  In fact the first time out on the ice, Grant started crying because Zach kept falling.


But true to the Zach style that we know and love, he kept trying, and never gave up.


This program was awesome, I can’t wait to sign up both of my boys next year.  They say if I have one more child, I would have a whole hockey team:)


The best part was that at the end there was a family skate, and Zach helped his brothers learn the ropes of all that he learned.


Grant was taking it all in, and sweet Bennett fell once, and all fury broke loose!


Jamsey boy our Canadian has just barely learned to walk, but maybe I’ll put him in skates next year…


Now I am starting to understand why hockey is huge in Canada, they make it possible for everyone to play hockey.  There are hockey rinks in backyards, parks, there are hockey nets and sticks everywhere, it is truly a phenomenon.

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Yet another reason why I love Canada, they embrace the culture of coldness and make the most of the crazy cold weather, with Hockey and Tim Hortens of course:)


Find the people who make you Happy!

My sweet little Zach had a hard day at school yesterday.  His best friend was not there, and his other friend decided not to play with him.  He was left all alone, and he did not know what to do.


So many emotions ran through my mind as he told me sad stories of being alone, and not being invited to birthday parties.


As I held my sweet little Zach, I just wanted to him to be all right.  But I was grateful that he told me his struggles, I was grateful that he let me hug him while he was sorting out all these emotions.


I was not mad at the situation, because this situation will ALWAYS happen during life.  It is crazy how you can relive your childhood all over again and remember the hard times in school that you wish you could forget!


I prayed to know what I could do to soothe his sweet, tender heart and an idea came to me.  I got the class picture and said, “Look at each of these kids in your class, I will point to them and you tell me what ones make you happy and which ones make you sad.”

There are a total of 19 students including my sweet Zach, there are 10 boys and 9 girls.  Out of all the kids there were only two that made him sad.  I told him to go to the people that make you happy.


That calmed him down, when he saw that most of he kids in his class made him happy and that only a few made him sad.  He saw other kids that could be his friends and that gave him the courage to try again tomorrow.

I LOVE my Zach, he has a strong sense of right and wrong and will stand up for what is right.  He is kind, quiet, persistent, pure of heart and always ready to flash a beautiful smile that shines from the inside out.


It is hard to send your kids out in the world, because sometimes the world is not always kind to your priceless treasure.

But no matter where you are in life, there will always be kind people who will make everything better.  Cling to those people, treasure those people, and strive to be someone who makes others happy as well.


This morning I asked him what his goal was today and he said, “Find the people who make me happy!”

That is right! And remember Zach,

I love you and you are my happiness!

Love always,


Why do you have to grow up Jamesy Boy?

DSC_0264 DSC_0301 I have always had a hard time during the first year of a new babies life. It takes the Johnson household about a year before we can figure out a routine and life seems to calm down a little bit. During that time of adjustment, you just grew up too fast Jamesy Boy, and it makes me feel once again badly that I did not treasure every moment like I should have. Or held you longer. But I did take more pictures of you Jamesy boy than your other brothers, and actually tried to do a month by month photo session… Thank you Jamesy Boy for being a part of our family, you make everything better with you smile, laugh, and love for your family. You love your brothers so much, and I tell Timmy that he needs to look at me the way you look at me… When you look at me it is like I am your whole world. Thank you James for looking at me like that, because your brother the other day asked if I do anything, and you understand James, you understand and appreciate that I am doing the best I can:) DSC_0247 Without further ado, here is a month by month picture overload of Jamesy Boy our Canadian boy!

Newborn – you were born on a golden day because the Canadian Womens Hockey team won a gold.  I went into the hospital at 11:30 am and had you at 2:30 pm, it was by far my favorite birth, and you were perfect, and still are:)

DSC_0144 Born February 20th 2014 DSC_0303 DSC_0301 CSC_0317 1 Month – March DSC_0430 DSC_0436 DSC_0413 2 Months – April DSC_0221 DSC_0224 DSC_0225 DSC_0232 3 Months – May DSC_0582 DSC_0590 DSC_0594 DSC_0623 DSC_0628 4 Months – June DSC_0818 DSC_0824 DSC_0830 5 Months – July DSC_1086 DSC_1089 DSC_1090 DSC_1092 6 Months – August DSC_0323 DSC_0324 DSC_0330 DSC_0338 7 Months – September DSC_0588 DSC_0593 DSC_0598 DSC_0600 DSC_0608 DSC_0611 DSC_0621 8 Months – October DSC_0683 DSC_0826 DSC_0753 DSC_0748 DSC_0222 DSC_0240 DSC_0246 DSC_0237 DSC_0225 9 Months – November DSC_0324 DSC_0325 DSC_0007 DSC_0010 DSC_0017 10 Months – December DSC_0118 DSC_0120 DSC_0123 DSC_0132 DSC_0192 DSC_0210 DSC_0311 11 Months – January CSC_0370 DSC_0386 DSC_0836 DSC_0728 DSC_0843 DSC_0669 DSC_0826 12 Months – February 20th 2015 DSC_0896 DSC_0899 DSC_0901 DSC_0908 DSC_0910 Oh James, now I am tearing up!  What an amazing boy you are.  Now I know why I have taken a lot of pictures, so that I can remember all the amazing times we have had, and many more to come:) This is how much you mean to Daddy DSC_0483 Mommy DSC_0875 CSC_0517 Zach – Your Twin DSC_0452 DSC_0272 Grant – Your breathe of Fresh air DSC_0055 DSC_0527 and Bennett your best Friend DSC_0047 DSC_0814 WE LOVE YOU!

I Married a Saint

Can I introduce you to the best thing that has ever happened to me?  His name is Timmy and he is amazing.  I would love to give a tribute to him:


A – Awesome – He can do it all!  Cook, clean, build houses, get PhD’s, an amazing dad and husband, kind, perfect…


B – Best Friend – Timmy has seen me in so many phases of life.  Teaching, being pregnant, moving, having kids, learning how to be a mom, trying to figure out how to be a grown up…etc.  And through it all he has been my right hand man, and my biggest support.


C – Calm – Thank heavens for his calmness, because things could quickly get out of hand around here.  My only question is, why did not my children inherit this quality as well?


D – Durable Dad – As soon as Timmy comes home, he is attacked.  He becomes a jungle gym, a punching bag, a wrestling buddy, a trampoline…the list goes on and on.  So far he has withstood the beatings, my only concern is that the boys keep getting bigger and we keep on adding to the amount of boys around here.


E – Energy – He never stops.  I get tired just watching him!  He is teaching seminary this year, he wakes up at 5:30 am in the morning, he goes to work, comes home to a family that literally LOVES him to pieces, and then he prepares his seminary lesson or writes a paper, goes to sleep and starts it all over again with a smile.


F – Funny – I tell him he is funny when he does not try to be.  The longer we are married the funnier I think it is.  I don’t know why this phenomenon happened, but it has.  Perhaps there is more inside jokes between the two of us, it could be perhaps our four boys give us many reasons to laugh a lot.  Who knows!


G – Giving – He is the first to sign up to help someone, the first to give of his time and resources, and the best part is…he enjoys it!


H – Heart – HE has a pure heart.  What you see is what you get in Timmy.  He is the first to say sorry, the first to forgive, the first to see the good in people.


I – Invincible – He is a superhero in our eyes.


J – Johnson Confidence – This basically means, that if you put your mind to it, you can do it, and the world’s the limit.


K – Kind – Looking at Timmy all you see is goodness and kindness, he has never said one mean thing about anybody.


L – Leader – He has had some opportunities to be a leader and he is good at it!  He leads by example, love, and hard work.  He is also the perfect leader in our family as well.


M – Manly – Tim the Tool Man Taylor has met his match!  Timmy is Al and Tim the Tool Man Taylor combined.  He knows how to build houses, can you believe it?  I could not, and then he built my parents basement.  His skills continue to develop as well, he is starting to learn how to work on cars.  Nothing makes him happier than learning something new that requires sweat and a challenge.


N – Noble – And I quote from the dictionary “possessing outstanding qualities” why yes, yes he does.


O – Observant, I like to call them his baby blues.  He notices everything!  As soon as he walks through the door I can see him take in all the surroundings and make sure that all is in its rightful place and all is well.  which usually is not the case:)


P – Precious – Timmy is so sweet and wants to make sure that I am all right at all times.  He will do anything to make sure that his family is safe and secure.  He loves my family like his own.  He enjoys people, and looks out for those who may need help.


Q – Quick – Did you know he ran a marathon?


R – Resilient – These past nine years of our marriage, have followed an unusual route.  We have done the school thing FOREVER, but he keeps on going.  He still finds joy in the journey and does not get bogged down on the what ifs in life.  He is a active force that propels forward despite all the obstacles in the way.  In fact he laughs at the face of obstacles and says, “What else you got?”


S – Soil – He love soil, he majored in soil.  Nothing says love like that!  If you want to get on his bad side, just call soil dirt.  I dare you!


T – Tender hearted – He sometimes cries, and it makes me love him even more.


U – Useful – I LOVE HAVING TIMMY HOME!!!!!!!!!!  When he is home is so helpful, he knows how to can food, make amazing dishes, fixes the dents in the house, loves to grocery shop and even sticks to the list.  Puts on Zach’s hockey skates and all the hockey gear, he teaches the boys whatever the boys are interested in learning.  He is here, he is present, and he is a blessing.


V – Valiant – He is solid in the gospel, solid in his testimony, and solid in doing what is right.  I feel like I am always running two steps behind him trying to keep up with him.  He is my example of how to be a good person.


W – Wizard -He loves school, he is good at it. We are supposed to work on our talents and he has indeed done that. As an observer of him getting his PhD, you would think it was the easiest thing to get, but I am told it is NOT! Timmy thrives at taking tests, he loves learning new things, and he is a certified genius.



X – eXample – Timmy leads by example.  For his birthday he wanted to make homemade ice cream with Zach because Zach wanted to do it.  I on the other hand, require a birth month.  When he says we need to treat mommy like a Princess, he shows them how it is done.  Timmy does not ask us to do what he would not do himself, and oftentimes he does not ask us to do anything, but leads a good life, and so that is what makes us want to be good as well.


Y – Youthful – He gets handsomer by the day, I say that I married Paul Newman’s look a like with his baby blues.


Z – Zealous – Timmy loves life, he approaches everything with a can do attitude.  How we love him!


The best thing about all of this is that we get him FOREVER!


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Trying to find joy in the monotonous!

Oh the dishes!  I feel like the dishes and I have not come to an agreement.  I feel like I clean this blasted room all day long, and it is still dirty!


For the most part I do not mind housework.  I would not say it is my favorite thing in the world, but it is tolerable. I even look forward to laundry, cooking, cleaning the bathrooms, anything but the KITCHEN!


I told Timmy that when we build a house I want the kitchen in the farthest part of the house, where I do not have to look at the dishes, so that I can clean them when I feel like.  The out of sight out of mind method really works well for me.


I suggested maybe using disposable plates, but my boys all gave me a blank stare.


I realize there are worse things in life.


I am grateful that I have such an awesome kitchen, food to eat, a dishwasher( High five to you guys who do the dishes by hand!) etc.

DSC_0697But I have a feeling that the kitchen and I will always be at odds with each other…and that is okay, right?

If I could have  a super power it would be to have Mary Poppins skill of snapping my finger and everything is cleaned instantly!


I think that is the hard part about housework is that it could take up your whole day if you let it and all you want is the house to be clean.

But then you feel guilty because I should be playing with my boys, reading with my boys, going on outings with my boys, etc.  It is this conflicting role of WHAT SHOULD I DO?

I could play Thomas the Train, but I need to fold A LOT OF LAUNDRY!, I should read you a book, but the upstairs looks like a tornado hit it.  I know you need to eat lunch but I just cleaned kitchen, can we just stare at the kitchen for five minutes and admire it before I destroy it again?


I tell Timmy that at one point during the day, the house was clean…he just wasn’t there to witness it!
I have a goal that by the time the boys get home at 3:30 pm the house will be clean.  And by 3:36 pm, my beautifully clean house is GONE!  It does get discouraging, and oftentimes I think what is the point?  Why do I keep on doing what I am doing?

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Because doing this day in and day out makes me a better person right?  At least I hope so, and more importantly I love my boys!


I am living the dream you know, I have always wanted to be a Princess andI think I fill in the Snow White Role very nicely with my 5 little Dwarves.

DSC_0293So have I found joy in the monotonous?  I am trying really hard!  But do I have joy everyday?  You better believe it!

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