Saturday, July 31, 2010


During our recent vacation a couple of weeks ago, we got to spend time with seven (out of eleven) nieces and nephews. We've had some good times with these little guys and gals. Let's just say that we've been bonding more and more these days....

Us with Abigail and her crew (Brian was attending classes and couldn't join us.)

Me with Ross and Carson at China Rock

Uncle Q and Jaden having a stare down....

Mia, Jaden and Eli in our hotel room in Hollywood, CA

Jaden holding onto Uncle Q's hand in Santa Monica.

We're thankful for the precious times we've had with them and look forward to many more years of bonding with all of our nephews and nieces.

Next up....updates on what's been happening around here!:)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Santa Monica beach

On our last day of our trip, we went to the beach in Santa Monica. It was absolutely gorgeous!

When we first got there, we ate a late lunch at Bubba Gump's. Q and I had never been there before and we were impressed with the food. The "po' boy shrimp sandwich" was delicious.

We began walking along the pier looking at all the little shops and things. They had a small amusement park, so we went in and went on a couple of rides. Eli got to hang out in his stroller as we walked. I love his big brown eyes.

This is my mom and dad. Aren't they cute?:) We had a great time with them on this trip.
This is my sister and her family. Jesse is holding Eli, then there's Mia and Jaden, who I spend a lot of time making things for. They are such great kids.

It was fun spending time with Raquel. I'm thankful for her friendship. Q and I are grateful that we were able to spend quality time with family.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Loads of fun at Universal Studios

Our time at Universal Studios was great! It had been a long time since I'd been there, but this was Q's first time.

The first thing we did was go on the Studio tour. The new King Kong attraction was part of it and it was fantastic. We wore 3D glasses and all the dinosaurs seemed to jump right in front of you.

Everywhere we went there were neat things to see and shops to go to. We went to several shows that featured lots of special effects.

Outside the Terminator show was this motorcycle--the same model that was used in the movie. Most of us got a chance to get on and take pictures. This is my sister, Raquel, with her husband, Jesse.

All morning, Jaden kept asking if he could go to the Adventures of Curious George. By the afternoon, we were there playing together. Part of it is a ball factory, where kids of any age can shoot balls at one another. Huge vacuums also suck the balls up and take them to different parts of the factory. This was a lot of fun!

Here's Eli chillin' after a long day at the park. He had a great time, too. It was a wonderful day hanging out with family.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame

The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a popular spot, so we decided to walk up and down the street, looking at all the hand/feet prints and stars.

I enjoy older, classic movies, so it was fun to see some names from long ago. 

Judy Garland is one of my favorites. Her hands and feet were so tiny!

We pointed out Christopher Reeve's star to Jaden because he loves super hero things. He quickly put out his arms like he was Superman flying through the sky.

Quentin found Billy Graham's star and decided to do the hand gestures he would do while preaching.

Since my dad's name is Jose', he got a kick out of Jose' Jose's star. Too funny!

There were a few Johnson's along the way, so we posed to take a shot with our name.:)

During our walk, we talked about what criteria these people had to meet so that they could receive a star. I have no idea how names are nominated, then chosen to receive this honor.

It made me think of how people think they can get to Heaven. They have a list--or "criteria"--on how they can do this. Some believe that by doing good things or going to church that they will get to be with Jesus after they die. But, the Bible doesn't say that. We must simply put our trust in Christ to receive His gift of eternal life. 

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13

We also know that if we have received His gift, then our names have been written in the Lamb's Book of Life. I know that my name is there, and hope yours is as well. I will never have my own star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but my name is written in Heaven--a much better place!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Knitting with Mia

As soon as Q and I got to my sister's place, Mia wanted to start learning how to knit. We went into her room and I started teaching her the basic steps. She chose to make a wristlet with some multi-colored yarn.

A couple days later, we were in the car on our way to Universal Studios. We spent a few hours playing games and knitting to pass the time. Mia and I worked on this project together and look how it came out....

I showed her how to bind off and sew the ends into the project. Then, she started practicing with another ball of yarn....

I encouraged both she and Annalina to look up books at their local libraries so that they can continue practicing on their own. I know both girls will be fantastic knitters. I can't wait to see what kinds of things they'll make on their own.

It was a lot of fun knitting with my other favorite girl in the whole world!:) Happy knitting, Mia!

Next in Hollywood! Come back soon...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mia's early birthday present

Mia will be seven years old next month, so I decided to give her an early birthday present. It was fun to give it to her in person and see the reaction on her face. She loved every part of it!:)

The first thing I put together was a sewing kit: 

My mom has been teaching her the basics of sewing, so I thought it would be neat for her to have her very own kit handy whenever the two of them got together to work on projects.

I used a plastic 3x5 card holder box with a flip-top lid to hold all of the tools. 

Here's what I put inside:

several small spools of thread in various colors
a pincushion with an assortment of pins
two fabric marking pencils
a small bag of buttons in various shapes, colors and sizes
tape measure
seam ripper
needle threader
a packet of needles
thread scissors
four fabric remnants rolled up and tied with ribbon for her to make small projects with

Have any of you put one together, and if so, what else have you included? I think this would be a neat gift idea for any one learning how to sew.

I also knitted a bookmark and put it inside a copy of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis. The directions to make the bookmark came from the book, Knitting Pretty, by Kris Percival. I used size 8 needles and cast on 18 stitches. Then I knit 8 rows of garter stitch. After binding off, I left an 8-inch tail. The tails were woven into the center of the top edge of the bookmark. Then, I knotted them to form the tassel.

Remember this scarf that I made recently? She liked it a lot and asked many questions about how I made it. I told her that she could make one some day. Speaking of knitting...we finished a project together, so I'll be posting about that next!:)

Stay tuned....

Monday, July 26, 2010

The beginning of a new adventure...

On the same day we left Q's sister and family, we arrived in San Francisco to be with my side of the family. On the way there, we stopped in Oakland to see my cousin, Sonia, and her son, Eric.

For years, we've called her Pily, the nickname she was given as a kid. When she first moved from Puerto Rico to the states, she and her sister lived with us for a while (her dad and younger brother eventually moved in with us for a short time, too). I'm glad we've been able to keep in touch all of these years.

After eating lunch with Pily and Eric, we arrived at my sister's place. She invited Grace and Florence over for dinner. My sister, Raquel, met Grace in a Tae-bo class, but Q and I already knew her and Florence. Abigail and Florence were good friends in college, so the entire Johnson family got to know her well. Florence played the violin at our wedding, too. I thought it was pretty neat how Raquel and Grace got to know each other and realized that they both had connections with us.:)

Mia decorated a cake at a birthday party earlier in the day, and she wanted us to enjoy it after dinner. It was really good--white frosting with a lemon filling...yum!

She decorated her cake with lots of color. It came out really cute.

Q hadn't met Eli until that night, and the two hit it off pretty well. This was the beginning of a new adventure, and I've got more to share in the next few posts about our time together. It was a lot of fun.

Stay tuned for more fun and crafts with my side of the family!:)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

An Apron for Abigail

When Abigail and I spotted the book, A is for Apron, by Nathalie Mornu, in a craft store a few months ago, we both said that we'd like to have a cute apron to wear. Well, before I ordered the book, she went ahead and bought it for me. She bookmarked a couple that she liked and I began looking for the perfect fabric to use.

She marked the apron called, Josephine. It's a reversible full-length apron. Although I've never made a dress, it seemed like I was making one because of all the elements like making the ruffle and ties, and joining the bodice to the skirt.

Abigail screamed with joy when I gave it to her. Take a look...

Her favorite color is blue, so I was delighted to find this "robin's egg blue" print that features gorgeous flowers and butterflies. I found the matching stripe fabric along with it at Hobby Lobby. I found the paisley print at Wal-mart.

It's really easy to switch the look from one side to the other. There is a button hole on the top where the ties go through. They can be pulled out to whichever side you want to wear that day.

I'm so glad that she loves this apron which she'll be able to use for a long time. We talked about how it almost seems too pretty to use! I think we agreed that using it for baking is better than every day cooking to keep it looking good.

I'm thankful for Abigail. She is not just my sister-in-law, but also my friend. She encourages me in my walk with God. We've shared laughs and tears over the phone. I'm thankful that God has placed her in my life. Next year, she and her family will be moving to Colorado. They'll be pretty close to us and I'm soooo excited!

Thanks, Abigail, for your friendship and support. We love you!:)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Knitted gifts for the Lysne clan

Before Q and I left on our trip to CA, I began knitting a headband for Annalina. While on the road I knitted some more, but wanted to wait until I measured it on her before finishing it. I also began making a dishcloth for Abigail. 

Here's Annalina with both projects which she absolutely loved!

The instructions for the dishcloth came from the book, Knitting Pretty by Kris Percival. She recommends using size 7 needles, but I used size 11 needles with some chunky white and blue yarn. I cast on 32 stitches and stitched 72 rows. After I was done with it, Annalina was able to use the dishcloth to wipe the kitchen table. When she was done she said, "It works great, Auntie Theo!"

I made the headband by casting on 12 stitches on size 10 needles and knitting rows until it measured around her head snugly. It will keep her head and ears warm during the winter months.

I made this wristlet (using the same yarn as the dishcloth) using instructions from the book, Knitgrrl, by Shannon Okey. For this project you can use any size needles and cast on 25 stitches. Knit until it measures one to three inches in width. When I put it on it was a little loose on me, but I've always had skinny wrists. I gave it to Annalina and it fit her loose as well, but she still loved it. If I made one again, I would cast on fewer stitches so that it fits better.

I taught Annalina how to make a slip knot, cast on and knit the garter stitch. As I was finishing up the dishcloth, she got to help me bind off, too. She didn't finish a project of her own, but she was able to do several stitches on her own. I know that the more she practices, the better she'll get...and we'll be able to knit together in the years to come.

It was fun knitting with one of my favorite girls in the whole world. :)

Just a few more hours together...

The time with Q's sister and family was coming to an end (at least for this trip:), but we were able to enjoy a couple more things together after our time at My Museum. Before I go onto that, I wanted to show you pictures of the art projects Q and I made there.

Q made this little guy out of an assortment of materials...yarn, paper, plastic, fabric, a pipe cleaner, cardboard and a puzzle piece. He said that his project was full of meaning. I don't remember anything except that the puzzle piece shows a lady's face and it's glued to a heart. It means that I'm the lady close to his heart--so sweet!

I made this puppet out of a tissue box as well as some plastic bottle caps, yarn, construction paper, googly eyes, a pom pom ball and fabric. I glued a piece of yarn to the inside top of the box so that it can be pulled, making this crazy guy "talk." I left it there so the kids could play with him.

We went to a fabulous burger place to eat dinner. Carson had a fun time eating some french fries. I love that smile, don't you?

Abigail, Gabriel, Annalina and I went to see Alice in Wonderland at the Forest Theatre in Carmel. It was the first time I'd ever seen a show performed outside and I thought it was well done. The kids laughed hysterically at all the crazy scenes. 

We left the next morning to go see my side of the family. Annalina gave me the sweetest note expressing that she'd like us to come again and hopes that we can knit, too. Yes, with all the activity, Annalina and I managed to do some knitting. I taught both she and my other niece, Mia, the basics. 

Next time...knitted gifts I made for the Lysne clan. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

My Museum: the crafting station

Our last stop at My Museum was at the crafting station. There, you could work with lots of recycled materials to make one-of-a-kind creations!

All the tools like scissors, markers, and glue were provided. Then there were bins full of things like egg cartons, paper, plastic pieces, yarn, fabric and feathers for you to use. You could make as many things as you wanted, too.

Here are a few things that we made....

Gabriel's soldier was made out of cork pieces, an egg carton section, cardboard, netting, googly eyes, and a feather. Doesn't he look great?

I think Annalina's spider is adorable! Look at all that pink....from the pink googly eye to the pipe cleaners!

Ross made his soldier with Mommy's help. Along with an egg carton section, he also used plastic pieces, cardboard, googly eyes and tissue paper.

Abigail made this owl decoration using pom pom balls, black plastic circles, fabric and feathers. He looks pretty awesome!:)

Q and I also got into the action and I'll show you pictures of those projects soon.

Have you recently made a project making things from around the house? I think it would be great to keep a box of things to have on hand when any member of the family wants to get creative. Perhaps some of you already do this, and if so, can you share how you keep it all organized and what you keep in your craft supply? I'd love to hear your ideas!