An Update via Pictures

Sorry for the super long absence! I feel like we have been exceptionally busy lately and, at the same time, the days and weeks seem to go by without even saying hello or goodbye :)

So here’s a selection of pictures from our life as of late…Enjoy!


At the end of a crazy night…

Well, this day turned out to be more eventful than I intended or really even wished for.  Abigail locked me out of her room and I was forced to take the door knob off.  Before I put the door knob back on Abigail locked all of us in her room which forced me to jump out of her window.  And then I had to call Raymond home from work so that we could take Abigail to the emergency room because her elbow dislocated for the second time in 3 weeks (we didn’t realize that’s what happened the first time, but now we know that it was a dislocation that corrected itself). Its called a nursemaid’s elbow and is pretty common in children until the age of 4.  The doctor said that it seems like Abigail will be a “frequent flier” of the nursemaid’s elbow since it happens so easily and corrects itself just as easily.

But now we’re all home and both of the girls are very asleep (phew!).  Tonight I am thankful for windows that open with relative ease, for unlocked doors, for a manager who will let Raymond go home to take care of his family, and for healthcare facilities that are open 24/7.

Happy 4 months Charlotte!

A favorite past-time…

And here is a picture of our new bow center and a better picture of the revamped dresser:

A Pinterest creation (2 girls = more bows than I can count)

A better picture of the dresser

We also had the pleasure of spending the evening with the Elieffs on Monday night.  We grilled burgers and hot dogs, laughed, talked about buying houses, and protected Abigail from the cuddly dog, Humphrey.

She is Raymond’s child through and through

The husbands are walking the dog and the wives are walking the husbands

Investigating a worm with Emily

Abigail stole Jacob’s scooter

Good friends



Shabbat Dinner on Friday, January 13th

Tonight Meghan (and subsequently, Charlotte), Abigail and I had the opportunity to celebrate Shabbat Dinner with one of my coworkers, who happens to be Jewish, and her family.

Shabbat is the seventh day of the Jewish week, the day of rest.  Shabbat begins on Friday evening and is commenced with a dinner.  On Shabbat, Jews recall the biblical creation account (Gen 1-2) in which God spoke the world into existence, creating the Heavens and the Earth in six days and resting on the seventh day.  For Jews, Shabbat is a festive day when Jews are freed from the regular labors of everyday life.  It offers them an opportunity to contemplate the spiritual aspects of life and spend time with family.

We began our Shabbat dinner by lighting 2 candles after which the women of the family recited a blessing in Hebrew.  Next, Cori’s dad read a Hebrew prayer over the wine (which Meghan and I did not drink…but Abigail had a few sips) and then said another prayer over a loaf of challah bread.  After the prayers and blessings, the meal began…at which point I became most helpful :)  We ate salmon, spaghetti squash, potatoes, chicken, and cauliflower (all kosher, of course…and awesome!).  There was an hour interval before a dessert of brownies.  Traditionally, the interval would have been closer to six hours to give time for the meat digest so that it would not mix with the milk that is in the dessert (since this would not be kosher).  But, we just waited an hour :) and enjoyed the brownies with some awesome hot tea.

The evening was wonderful!  We talked, we laughed, and we silently snickered as Abigail ran away terrified from their huge black dog all night.

Meghan and I saw this as an opportunity to practically live out 1 Corinthians 9:22.

Below are a few pictures from our evening

21-0: Bama’s 14th National Championship

On Monday, January 9th Meghan and I gathered with several of our friends to root for our favorite college football team, the Alabama Crimson Tide.  Oddly, we gathered with some close friends who happened to be die hard LSU fans…thankfully it didn’t take much for Nick Saban and the Tide to kill them or their season!

Aside from the technical difficulties we experienced when we tried to live stream the game from our computer to the TV, it was a fun evening.  We ate chili made by Suzanne, avocado dip made by Hannah, Hummus dip made by Laura and cookies made by Meghan…basically the guys and I enjoyed the handiwork of our wives!

Here are some pictures of our time together.

A Progressive Dinner

Recently, our Bible Fellowship Group (AKA Sunday School class) participated in a Progressive Dinner to fellowship together during the Christmas season. About half of the couples were able to attend and we all had a great time eating, talking, and laughing.  Our Progressive Dinner included 3 stops (appetizers, dinner, and dessert) plus a game of Dirty Santa (of course).  Raymond was unable to attend because he had the flu that week (I think he’ll be getting the flu shot from now on…) but I was able to go and I’m pretty sure we contributed the best Dirty Santa gift ;)

Here are a few pictures from the evening:

Dinner, Christmas Candy, & Discipleship

Roll Tide Ray, Dr. Elieff, Jacob and Humphrey

On Monday, December 12, 2012 Meghan, Abigail, and I traveled across town to the home of my pastor and dear friend and mentor – Dr. Jeff Elieff.  We were there for the second annual Johnson-Elieff dinner and Christmas candy-making event.  We talked, laughed, ate, and made some delicious candy (the white chocolate covered pretzels are all that matter to me).

Highlights of the evening were:

1) Dr. Elieff firing off his aresol rifle, which is also his Christmas present, in the house

2) Humphrey, the dog, being scared by the loud rifle shot to the point that he would not forgive Dr. Elieff until there was food on the table

3) Jacob and Emily, the Elieff children, chastising their father for playing with his Christmas present before Christmas as well as for firing a gun in the home even though it wasn’t loaded

4) Emily checking her body to make sure that she had not been shot after she heard the rifle go off

5) Dr. Elieff saying, and I quote, “I’m gonna put so much vanilla in this fudge that I won’t be able to drive after I eat it”…he quickly replied that he was just kidding.

All jokes aside, it was a wonderful evening. No man has invested in my life so comprehensively as Jeff Elieff; few men have invested even a portion of the time he has. He recognizes that discipleship doesn’t happen in a one-hour long meeting once a week.  Rather, discipleship is teaching someone how to make their way through life, how to walk in the way of Christ wisely.  Sure, we talk ministry and do churchy things like preaching, teaching, worship, etc.  But, we also talk about family, college sports, how to manage money, politics, music, academics, insurance, our health and much more over food or some other place we’re hanging at that day.  As a result, we have become friends who help one another with home improvement projects, who pray for one another, who war against a satanic enemy together.

Dinner and making Christmas candy makes memories and provides an opportunity to hangout, but it is much more than another event — it is discipleship.  This holiday season I am thankful for Dr. Jeff Elieff.  He is a father in the ministry to me, a man I can look up to, and a man I can call if I’ve had a bad day.  I love my church.

Thanksgiving Part 2 and Christmas Pics

Caleb, Rebekah, Derek, Colton, Amy, Meghan (and Charlotte in the womb), Raymond, and Abigail #NAOBC4Life

On Thanksgiving day 2012 we ate with two families that we are exceptionally close with at our church, NAOBCthe Browns and the Drahoshes.  Gigi, Meghan’s mom, was there too.  We had a wonderful day together for the second year in a row.  We talked, ate, played with Colton and Abigail on the floor, ate, played Ticket to Ride, and ate (and after it all Meghan and I watched Psych!). You know that’s right!

Other highlights of the day: the guys tossed the football and reminisced on the fun of our respective high school football days,  Raymond and Derek pulled the kiddos around in a wagon, and the ladies did something but I wasn’t there to observe it so I don’t know what they said or did :)

Below are two Christmas pictures from our family photographer, Caleb Drahosh.  They are their usual awesome with Caleb-esque quality.  Though it looks like he took them at a studio, he did them in our living room.  Thanks bro!

The Johnson family