Johnny Turns 7

Johnny Turns 7

Johnny is a bright light in this world! He has a contagious, happy energy that surrounds him wherever he goes. He’s enthusiastic about everything he does, especially if it involves the great outdoors and/or the dogs. Whenever possible, Johnny wants to be outside experiencing the real world. It is such a joy to be around him and see the pond, creek, or even the grass through his eyes. One of Johnny’s latest sayings is “I’m having a really great day so far”. It has matured from “this is the best day ever” but still the most genuine sentiment of truly loving life. He usually follows it with “how is your day going, mom”. I proceed to melt and concur that I’m having “a really great day” too. And when he gets upset or has a stubborn streak, it’s usually over quick and with him owning every aspect of it. I feel like the luckiest dang mom that there ever was with Johnny.

Johnny is in 1st grade and has started the Spanish dual immersion program at Parley’s Park Elementary. He loves to learn and loves his friends even more. Johnny’s teachers have an affection for him that we all share. Johnny also enjoys all sports possible, especially soccer and baseball. He is an avid outdoorsman and is quite skilled with a knife, hammer, fishing pole, bugs and all things with dad. He loves animals and seems to have a special connection every critter he finds. Johnny is also a proud little brother to Charlotte and does his best to push her buttons as well as give her hugs at recess. He continues to make us all laugh with jokes, voices and silly faces. We’re grateful for the joy Johnny brings to our family. Happy 7th birthday, bud!

Here are a few pictures of Johnny on his actual birthday, September 9th. His birthday party was a few days later with more details below.

For Johnny’s 7th birthday, we created a survival skills birthday party for a bunch of energetic 6-year-old boys. It was a total hit! John was troop leader as he led Johnny and his friends around the ranch on a scavenger hunt to learn a few basic survival skills. They learned how to use a compass and a signal mirror. They also went to rescue an injured hiker and learned how to apply pressure to a wound and make an arm sling. The injured hiker was Charlotte with a very (fake) bloody arm. The last test was knowing a parent’s phone number in case of an emergency. Surprisingly, most of the boys didn’t know the phone number. We told them that was their homework 😉 We ate trail mix, hot dogs and fish cooked in tinfoil (Johnny ate the fish eyeball). The party ended with singing happy birthday and eating cake!

Hay Day 2021

Hay Day 2021

Our self-created family holiday happens once a year (July) at Mellor Ranch when John cuts and bales the hay field. It never ceases to bring pure, good old-fashioned fun for all of us. John gets to use all of his tractor equipment, Charlotte and Johnny get to run around wildly in the field, Prissy and Ginger get to catch voles and I get to bring out the big camera. Below are the memories captured and documented.

Costa Rica (Summer 2021)

Costa Rica (Summer 2021)

If one is seeking adventure, Costa Rica is the place. We went from ziplines in the mountains to black sand beaches with howling monkeys in-between. It was truly adventure packed! There were plenty of critters to keep us on our toes (literally) and lots of winding dirt roads to help us slow down and soak in the rugged scenery. We also enjoyed practicing our Spanish and eating amazing local food. Our house was a major highlight as it sat up on the hillside above Coco Beach. The sunsets were incredible and so were the daily rainstorms as we swam in the pool. Overall, Costa Rica was a remarkable discovery with our two very curious children, especially as our wanderlust souls continue to crave uncharted territory through these Covid years (I can’t believe we’re saying “years” but it continues to rage on).

Things to remember: Ziplines, the bus ride to the water slide, the water slide in the rain storm, hot springs, rivers, mud, scorpions, lizards, frogs and crabs at night, june bugs, howling monkeys, more rain storms, sugar cane, crocodiles, humidity, breakfast on our patio, black sand, dirt roads with lots of bumps, mosquitos and even bigger flying bugs who remain nameless, more ziplines that might possibly be unsafe, boat time, beaches left undiscovered, feeding monkeys, feeding crocodiles, dogs, bone marrow, cats, fish spa, eating lunch in the deep backcountry, chillaxing in our infinity pool as we overlooked the bay, Johnny getting a fever the day we left, COVID tests on our patio, the lightning storm on our last night.

Below are pictures from one of our ziplining experiences where it actually felt safe and regulated … hence a professional photographer.

And now for the abundance of iPhone pictures that happen so easily without settings and without a giant camera to lug around.