Johnny Turns 4

On the morning of Johnny’s 4th Birthday, Alli (our nanny for the last 6 1/2 years) said “Johnny, your zest for life is contagious”.  There couldn’t be a more true statement about our sweet Johnny boy.  

In Johnny’s world, everyday is “the best day ever” and every meal is “the best ever”.  He doesn’t go more than an hour without telling one of us how much he loves us.  Johnny is always the first to say thank you and express his genuine feelings of gratitude.  He is truly aware of others’ feelings and wants to make sure we’re happy, especially Charlotte, who is still his running favorite.  To him, everything is better when Charlotte’s around.  

Johnny’s favorite activity is hunting for grasshoppers, salamanders, voles, snakes, or worms.  He’s pretty dang good at it and is constantly urging me to hold one of his critters.  He gets a kick out of my facial expression as I say no thank you and proceed to tell him how brave he is.  He then will usually put a hand on his hip and show me his game face which is the cutest thing ever – a slight pucker to his lips while keeping a stoic disposition.  I die over and over.

This summer Johnny was put to the challenge of riding his pedal bike (without training wheels).  Within a couple of days and with some guidance from Charlotte, he was pedaling like a champ.  Again, when he stops to hear the praise and adoration from us, he puts his hands on his hips and gives us his best game face.  He’s like a magnet for goodness and love.  Even Prissy feels it as she’s always the last one to leave his room at night.

Johnny started soccer at the end of summer and loves his first team sport.  After every goal he scores, he pauses to put his hands on his hips and give us his game face.  We’ve had to work through not getting upset when other kids make a goal, but he was quick to learn and happy to support his team.  

At school, Johnny is eager to learn and has started to write his name and work on math. He has a natural confidence with almost everything he does which makes it hard to correct him or suggest to put the letters in order.  He can count to 28 proudly but usually skips 13 and 14.  I can’t stand how adorable this is.  

In general, everyday with Johnny is like the best day ever for me too.  He makes life easier and brings so much joy to our family.  We’re grateful for this contagiously happy little boy.  When I grow up, I want to be Johnny.  Happy 4th birthday, sweet little man:)

Below are pictures from Johnny’s birthday party – Star Wars theme chosen by him.

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Summer 2018

Johnny has a shirt that says “Summertime and the livin’ is easy”.  Not sure there’s a better way to sum up our summer.  We opted out of any travel (besides camping) and soaked in every sunny day at Mellor Ranch.

It began with endless worm hunting instigated by Johnny.  I can’t tell you the amount of hours this kid has spent looking for worms, bugs, grasshoppers, fuzzies, etc.  By the time preschool started, he was lead zoologist for the first couple of weeks as he personally collected crickets to feed the class pet, Sprinkles, a spotted gecko.

Johnny’s worm skills also came in handy when we planted our garden.  Oh the garden… We gave that garden plenty of love and attention all summer.  We were successful with carrots, peas, and way too many greens.  Our tomatoes froze … two different batches. Right before harvesting the strawberries, we had a visit from the local wildlife and overnight they were gone.  We think it was the deer which makes us feel better about not biting into a fresh, homegrown strawberry.  There’s always room for garden improvement next year.

Onto the annual hay cutting holiday our family has created.  As usual, it was enjoyed thoroughly by all.  To sow, harvest, and reap is deeply rooted in our blood and I think our kids are starting to get it too.  The very dry winter, spring, and even summer made for 50% fewer bales than last year but they were happily given away to a neighbor friend with some hungry cows.

The next memorable moment of summer would have to be our camping trip to Ferron.  We drove four hours to a very special place in the mountains above Manti where my family has gone camping for almost 40 years and where John’s dad once roamed as a sheep herder.  It’s a family reunion with plenty of cousins, dirt, fishing, bonfires, squirrels, 4-wheelers, and time away from WiFi.  We — four humans and one dog — snuggled together in one tent for two nights and I’m still giggling about those special bonding moments.  Our kids enjoyed this as much as any trip to Mexico or Europe which makes the hard work worth it and satiates the craving of connecting with our roots.

Another memory seen below is a group of photos from all of our dinners spent outside.  Thanks, John, for capturing this one.  We ate outside almost every night and enjoyed hours of conversation until sundown.  We loved hosting friends and family AND opening that second bottle of wine many times.  Ahh… we will live for those summer nights all winter long.

Things to remember:  Johnny riding his bike at 3 years old, Charlotte’s awesome summer camps at Swaner, biking, and theater, the dinner bell, landscaping, summer concerts (Amos Lee), mud, our squad, bees, lemonade stand, Charlotte and Johnny’s hideout, taking a lap, hiking to the bench, Star Wars, crickets, mud pies in the creek, Tino weekends, magpie hunting.

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Ferron

Summer Dinners