Saturday, December 29, 2007

Where to Start?!

Boy, do I have a lot of catching up to do. And there's no way to do it justice...I've neglected you, my dear blog buddies, for too long! What a busy, wonderful & crazy time of year.

Hunter and I commenced our Christmas celebration last Friday, when we headed to Henrieville. When Becca got married, the Johnson family began the tradition of spending Thanksgiving together, and Christmas with our in-laws one year, and vice versa the next year. This year we were to have Christmas with the Johnsons. However, my sisters' families are growing, and it's virtually impossible for them to transport their Christmas loot anymore. Not to mention the additional problem of space...nobody has a house big enough to hold all of us! So, we reached a feasible compromise that worked out quite well.

We spent the weekend before Christmas in Henrieville, and all of my sisters and their families were able to be there. Some of us stayed at the Grand-Staircase Inn in Cannonville, so we all had a bed to sleep in. It worked out quite beautifully, and it was so nice to spend time with my family even if it was only for a short time. When Sunday came, we returned to our respective homes.

On Christmas eve day, Hunter and I headed to the Bradshaws' place in Tooele. The Rigbys and my parents joined us, and we proceeded to celebrate. I love spending the holidays with kids; it seems so much more magical and exciting. Sarah & Brady were so gracious to host our Christmas shin-dig, and put us up for a night. It was a full house, and it was great to be together.

And then it was over. But actually, that's okay because I was ready to go back to bed. And you know what else is great about Christmas being over? I can share my projects with you! Yay! This year I drew Becca's name, and on Hunter's side we had his brother Wayne's family. I found the cutest idea right here, so I made a set for each family. Of course, I forgot to take my own pictures of them before I gave them away, so you have to click the link to check it out. As I mentioned, I found the idea on Jessica Sprague's website, but she also provided a link to Ali Edwards' version which you can check out here. I just think it's the cutest idea, and I love how they look when they are attached directly to the wall. I used paper-mache boxes I found at Zim's, and painted them green, red & cream. I used Jessica's idea and put the scripture references she provided inside the lid of each box. I also put an activity idea inside each box. It was a fun project, but by the time I was finished, I was ready to be done!

My next project is also brought to you courtesy of Jessica Sprague. She is a genius, and I wouldn't have any ideas if it weren't for her wonderful blog. This one is kind of a late Christmas gift, because I didn't find out about it until just before Christmas. Nevertheless, it is in the works and I am excited to see how it turns out. I made a non-seasonal version because I wanted something I could leave up year-round. Of course I made a version for myself, and one for the Albrechts since we had their name. And, ironically, they had our name and they were very good to us! So here is a glimpse of their belated Christmas gift:
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Here's a look at the middle page of the Sheedy version:
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So, yay! I love this stuff. If I remember to do it, I'll take a picture of the finished product. I'm still waiting for the prints to be delivered from Shutterfly, so progress is on hold for now.

Phew. Was that enough information for one day, or shall I keep going? LOL.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Beauty All Around

I love going home. And I love where I'm from. Henrieville might be small-town, middle-of-nowhere, hickville to most people, but it is surrounded by some of the most gorgeous country in the world. And, it's my home. It's where my sweet mama and papa live, a therapeutic and restive retreat.

Of course, Bryce Canyon is also home. I grew up with a majestic view of the National Park from my backyard, attended Bryce Valley elementary and high school, and worked at Ruby's Inn for ten years. I am proud of this scenic wonder, so it fills my heart with joy when I discover a rare article such as this. Such moving sentiments, so eloquently worded. It makes this little hometown girl swell with pride.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tidings of Joy...or Something to That Effect...

Somehow, the Johnson family ended up with some crazy tradition where I write the Christmas newsletter every year. Sometimes it's a royal pain in the @^%&*, like last year when I was trying to write from the beaches of sunny Florida and had difficulty concentrating. I'm always relieved when it's finished, because it's not easy transforming our mundane, routine lives into something worth reading...it's harder than it looks! LOL. Anyway, now it just sounds like I'm fishing for compliments, which I'm most definitely not trying to do. I'm just trying to share the fruits of my labors with those of you who may not receive a copy in the mail. So, enjoy or don't enjoy...I don't care, as long as you read it! LOLOL!

Greetings, dear friends and family! It’s the magical time of year when we scramble to get everything (including those darned annual newsletters) done in time. As tradition requires, we now present you with a glamorized, censored, and only slightly-embellished tale of our exciting and adventuresome lives.

Esther & Nathan Rigby: It’s true that Esther is the youngest Johnson sibling, and most of us remember life before her existence. It’s also true that Esther recently became a mother…is anyone else feeling their age right about now? The Rigbys were thrilled to welcome little Madison Marie on September 14th. She is a sweet, mellow little darling who also has a fiesty side. Apparently she takes after her mother!


Sarah & Brady Bradshaw: The Bradshaws worked hard to ensure Sandy’s happiness this year. They started by adding another bouncing baby boy, Reagan, to the growing clan. And if that weren’t enough, Brady used his charm (and mad anethesia skills) to claim a coveted job opening at Tooele Valley Hospital, and the Bradshaws left Texas without so much as a backward glance. Sandy is on cloud nine to have all of her grandchildren back in Utah, and the rest of us are pretty happy to have them here too.


Ruth & Brady Carter: Ruth and Brady have had their hands full this year. It all started when Kenzie tried to fall off the swingset in style and ended up breaking her arm in the process. She made the most of her situation, however, when she realized the cast made a pretty good weapon against her siblings! They, in turn, learned to give her a little more R-E-S-P-E-C-T, and everyone survived the ordeal. Kasia is a sweet little mama’s girl who loves to take care of her own babies, and Treyton is turning into quite the charmer. The other day when Ruth dropped him off at preschool, she kissed him on the cheek and he proceeded to rub it off. However, he quickly redeemed himself by telling her, “I rubbed off your kiss, but I still love you!"

Rebecca & Jed Albrecht: Our friendly little Albrecht family is growing up! Braxton started second grade and he’s breezing right through it, thanks to his Johnson genes. He’s reading really well for his age, and he’s decided to take on the Harry Potter series. Now that’s what I call ambition! Ryker started kindergarten, and while he is also doing well academically, he definitely prefers being outdoors. One day when Becca was trying to encourage him to do his homework, he demanded to know who invented school. I’m not sure what grand scheme he had in mind, but you can bet it was creative. And then there’s Kazie, who is two-years-old going on twenty-two. One day when Jed was scolding her she told him, “Don’t you talk to me like that!” Jed was actually rendered speechless for a moment! Becca referred to her (Kazie) as “Hell on wheels”…to which Kazie replied, “I’m telling Santa!” I think we have another case of daughter taking after mother on our hands.


Jed & Rosana: Rosana started working on her master’s degree, and Jed is also in school working toward his bachelor’s degree. They both work full-time and still manage to balance school and family quite well.

Rachael & Hunter Sheedy: I’m happy to report that we’ve been married for a year and he still likes me! We’ve had a fun year of road trips and scenic vacations, along with some awesome family get-togethers. We are both still working at Eagle Gate College and trying to make the most of our fleeting moments away from the office.


Gary & Sandy: Gary celebrated a significant milestone this summer: 40 years ago he was baptized into the LDS church. He and Sandy were able to get together with Gary’s good friend Jim Crisp and his wife, and celebrate. The reunion took place at Zion National Park, where Gary and Jim both worked as park rangers at the time. They had a wonderful time sightseeing, hiking, and reminiscing.

As for the whirlwind of productivity called “Sandy”, she is still running circles around the energizer bunny. She just finished her first online course at BYU-Idaho and is now working on her second. Her competitive gene has been nagging at her, and she has determined that if all her children can earn college degrees, she can too! We’ve tried to tell her that being our mama qualifies her for all kinds of degrees, mainly psychology, but she won’t rest until she has the diploma to prove it. That’s our Sandy!

We love you all, and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
The Johnson Family

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Crunch

Blogging? Who has time for that, anymore?! Somehow I've found myself waist-deep in Christmas projects, with no time to spare. Hunter always teases me about my infamous 'deadlines', but I just remind him that without deadlines, my projects would last forever! Yikes!

So, in the midst of all this holiday hullabaloo, I have to keep reminding myself to stop and appreciate the season for what it is. I love this magical time of year, and I don't want to be so task-oriented that I squander it away on the transient and mundane. I want to savor the enchantment, appreciate the anticipation, and remember the true purpose of our celebration. I want to live in the magic of the moment.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

TMI

Apparently I've been tagged. I'm not sure why anyone would want to know more about the Hunter & Rachael relationship, since it's all I talk about on this site! But for those brave souls who are gluttons for punishment, here ya go!

How long have you been together? 18 months or so
How long did you date? Six months. I knew him for three years before we started dating.
How old is he? 375 days younger than me. That's all you're gonna get! :)
Who eats more? Hunter? I hope?
Who said I love you first? Me. I tried to hold out, but I don't think he would have ever said it, if I didn't say it first!
Who is taller? Hunter.
Who sings better? Me, by far. Okay, I'm kidding. Hunter has a great appreciation for music and singing voices. He definitely prefers life when I'm not singing. LOL.
Who is smarter? Me, of course. Hey, it's MY blog...I can say what I want! (Hunter is way smarter than me, but I'll never admit it).
Who does the laundry? Me. Hunter tried to help at first, but I'm very particular about laundry. Although, sometimes I wonder if he screwed it up on purpose...lolol.
Who does the dishes? Me. Hunter has dirtydishaphobia. It's a traumatic, albeit handy, disorder. Sometimes I wish it were contagious.
Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Ha! We both do. Technically it's me, but I can't tell you how many times I've almost fallen out of bed b/c my sweet hubby has snuggled me within inches of the edge. It cracks us both up, because he has no idea he is doing it at the time.
Who pays the bills? Both of us. Hunter is great about doing what he is told! LOL...remember, this is my blog.
Who mows the lawn? Lawn? What's that?
Who cooks dinner? This is a good one. When we were dating, we took turns depending on whose house we were at. If we were hanging out at Hunter's place, he would cook. My house, my turn to cook. One time (while we were dating) Hunter made a point to let me know he didn't expect me to prepare his dinner, just cuz we were at my house. Unfortunately, that was short-lived. We got married, we live in what was formerly my house...guess who does the cooking?
Who drives when you are together? Hunter, thank goodness! I don't really care to drive.
Who is more stubborn? This is a tough one. We are both super stubborn, so it really depends on the circumstances. I think we are pretty good at taking turns, so we aren't being stubborn at the same time. LOL.
Who kissed who first? I kissed him. I hate the uncertainty and awkward stage of relationships, so I was determined not to drag it out. LOLOL.
Who asked who out? Nobody...why do you think it took us three years to start dating?! We hooked up because of some scheming co-workers. Hunter came to a 'party' at my house, and he was the only one there the majority of the time. After that, I guess Hunter was the one who initiated the next 'date'.
Who proposed? Once again, nobody! Are you sensing a theme, here? We knew we'd get married eventually...so I finally told Hunter when and where the wedding was taking place. LOLOLOL. I'm starting to think there is nothing normal about our relationship!!!
Who is more sensitive? It totally depends. Maybe Hunter?
Who has more friends? Hunter. Although neither of us are social butterflies...lol.
Who has more siblings? We both have five. :)
Who wears the pants in the family? We both do. I hate skirts.

Ha! I'm done. Now it's my turn to nominate some victims. I nominate Ang, Abi, and Sarah-Lou. Let's get busy, folks...I want answers! LOL.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Too Much Family?

Is there such a thing as too much family? I think not! At least, when it comes to my family...lol. I'll let you take a look and decide for yourself.
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And just in case you need a refresher course on the Johnson family tree, click here. You can also click here for a review of the Sheedy family tree. Unfortunately, there is no accompanying photo...we'll have to work on that! :)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

'Tis the Season

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I just love our Christmas Tree. It's fake, of course...I would never dare put a real one in my house, unless it was in a non-carpeted room. And, well, that's pretty much the kitchen/dining room or the basement, so that would be lame. However, this tree is beautiful...and it's because Becca gave it to me. If you ever visit my house, and comment on something cute, chances are it came from Becca. She has totally decorated my entire house, and she always shares her great tastes with me. I love it! So thanks to Becca, I have a pretty tree.

Last year was the first Sheedy Christmas...at least, the first Rach & Hunter Sheedy Christmas. It's also the year Becca gave us the tree, so we had to find decorations. Hunter helped me pick out some ornaments at Target, and when we got the whole thing set up we were blown away at how perfectly it matched our living room. It's the perfect complement; I wish we could leave it up all year! Well okay, except for the part where it takes up half of our living room...but, whatever. Small price to pay, right?

Anyway. I love this tree of joy and thanksgiving. It makes me feel like a real grown-up, whenever I look at it! LOL. It's the crowning jewel on my attempt at adulthood. And when I sit here with all the lights out (except the tree lights), I think maybe adulthood can be magical after all.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Scenic Utah

We arrived in Moab Sunday afternoon, and check out our room:
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It was huge! With a pretty landscape painted on the wall! We were pleasantly surprised. There was also a roomy kitchenette, but the door was locked. That was okay with me, because I had no intention of using it...I'm on vacation!! Lol.

So, we rested up and hit the road again the next morning. Of course, we didn't travel far; not at first, anyway. Our first destination was Denny's. And our second destination? Arches National Park, of course!
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The place is absolutely gorgeous. My dad took us there when we were kids, and I can't believe it took me so long to go back. It's amazing that we have such incredible, majestic scenery so close to home, and yet I don't take the time to appreciate it very often. Hunter has been so good for me in that respect; we have visited so many national parks and other gorgeous places since we've been together. He loves the outdoors and appreciates nature the same way my papa does. I absolutely love travelling, and I also appreciate the gorgeous sites...but I would never actually go anywhere if it weren't for my dear hubby. He is my inspiration and my motivation. :)

Anyway, so while we were in Arches guess what...I actually hiked! And it was strenuous! Of course, strenuous by my standards isn't much, but still...you should be super impressed. This is an activity that does not occur very often. We even have photographic evidence:
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We were pretty exhausted at the end of the day, so after visiting Arches we headed home. Home sweet home! It's such a bittersweet experience, to come home from a wonderful vacation. There is something reassuring and comforting about returning to your own abode; I always feel a sense of relief. But I'm also filled with an ominous dread at the thought of returning to work. Ugh...why can't vacation last forever?!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

On the Road Again

We spent the entire day driving from Ruidoso to Moab. Not very exciting, so I'm going to post more Ruidoso/family photos. Enjoy.
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Also, I'm happy to announce that our friends the Jacksons have (finally) started a blog...woohoo! Yay, Jacksons!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Prolonging the Good-ness

We were supposed to go back to Utah today, but last night the weather looked like this:
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We were gonna go to Moab, and then to Henrieville for a few days before returning home. However, Hunter made a call and fortunately, he was able to change our reservation. We get to stay in Ruidoso another day! It's a good thing, because when we got up this morning it looked like this:
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Naturally, the cold was no deterrent for the kids...my husband included. They had all kinds of fun outside, in the freezing cold!
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Of course, Hunter came prepared with his new snow toy:
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Despite the freezing temperatures, I have to admire the beauty of the snow. Overnight, Ruidoso has transformed into a breathtaking winter wonderland. Secluded in these forested mountains, nestled in snow and fog, relaxing and spending time with loved ones...I could live here forever. My worries, stresses and woes seem so distant and irrelevant, as if they no longer apply. I wish this perfect day would never end!

Good Times for Everyone

I didn't post yesterday...I was so full of yummy food, I couldn't move! Hunter's sister Joannah and her husband Phil did the majority of the cooking, and it was AWESOME! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Must...find...leftovers...

As it turns out, I have managed to do a few other things besides eat and sleep. For example, I went outside! And yes, this is a major accomplishment...it just so happens that it was 35 degrees when we left the house this morning. And this house has a wonderful thing called central heating...and a fireplace...and I'm reading a great book, so yes; tearing myself away from the wonderful blessings of comfort and contentment was rather a chore. But I did it, and I survived! Hunter and I went to the park with his sister Ginger and her family. Here are some of the highlights:
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The super-cute kid is Garrett. Don't be fooled by his cuteness, though...he has an amazing (and frightening) ability to transform himself into a Sharp-Tooth Dinosaur. Every good aunt knows about Sharp-Tooth Dinosaurs...they are super scary and if you ever have the misfortune of encountering one, you should definitely run for your life. Here are a few shots of the Sharp-Tooth Dinosaur in pursuit of his prey:
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Did you notice his sharp claws, and can you hear his fearsome roar? I have to go now, I'm trying to find a good place to hide...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Return to Ruidoso

After two days of driving, we finally arrived at our Thanksgiving destination: Ruidoso. The first thing we did was unload the car. The second thing? Well, see for yourselves:
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The last time we were here, we came on the bike...so we had no room for anything, let alone our RC buddies. Hunter was pretty excited to get out of the car, stretch his legs, and put his truck to the test. The truck was also happy to get out of the car and stretch its 'legs'.

We are looking forward to spending a few days of joy and Thanksgiving with Hunter's sisters and their families. The best part of the holiday season is being able to spend time with family. The other best part is that we both have cool families, so we don't have to pretend to enjoy being with them...we actually do enjoy it. Three cheers for being related to cool people! Yay.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Revenge of the Blackmailee

I'm not sure that's even a word, but there you have it. As you may have seen, my mean-ole-brother has posted a few 'less than flattering' photos of myself and my sisters. This equates to war. Oh yes, bring it on!!!
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Now wait a sec, it seems my ammunition isn't that great. These pictures are actually pretty cute!! Okay, I'll keep trying...
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Hmmm. Looks like I'll have to do more digging...

A Breath of Fresh Air

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Another weekend, another walk in the park. Or the woods, mountains, or wherever Hunter manages to relocate me. This time it was Little Cottonwood Canyon, on a mountain-biking trail of death. Fortunately, we were not on mountain bikes. Our little RC buddies had to do all the work...that's the way I like it! No sweat and tears for Rachie; I'll have none of that!
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I'll have you know, we do not cheat when we take these photos. Our trucks are fully capable of crossing virtually any terrain, and believe me we put them to the test! I will admit that from time-to-time my foot may 'accidentally' assist my vehicle when he's in a tough spot. But don't tell Hunter, because he doesn't stoop to such levels. He insists on genuine, scalable performance, and he actually accomplishes this feat! However, it seems that my poor vehicle has a less-than-skilled driver, so occasionally I am forced to resort to drastic measures.

Here's another amazing photo-op...check out the detail on this bad boy! Doesn't it make you want to hop into the cab and take it for a spin in the hills? Ya, me too...lol.
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While I'm setting the record straight, I may as well admit one other thing. I can't take credit for all the gorgeous photos on this blog, and in my flickr account. Hunter is the photographer in the family. Most of the sweet shots are his. So, I must relinquish all my newfound fame and glory to its proper source: my husband. He is the genius behind the camera...one of the many reasons I still keep him around! :)