I know I promised to wrap up Bijou Market this week. But after one crazy week it will just have to wait, because the Aloha state is calling my name. Chad and I are leaving for Hawaii today sans the kids {always bittersweet.} So while all of you are getting right into the thick of Christmas preparations I will be lounging on the sand, or hiking to a waterfall, or having the most amazing shaved ice ever, well you get the point.

But I don't want to bum you out too much so I will let you locals in on one of my families most favorite Holiday Traditions, that sadly we will miss this year. The Living Nativity.

Head North on Main Street in Alpine, and when you see the L.D.S. church with all the cars, you made it. Your kids will love it and don't forget your camera for some great photo ops.

the actual address is 900 N main st. Alpine UT if you want to google it.

Enjoy and I will see you next week.


half way there

I am smack dab in the middle of the Bij. I am having an extremely hard time getting excited for anything because all my mind can process right now is things that start with Bijou and end with Market. Thanksgiving being three days away and Hawaii a mere 8 days after that is not even registering with me.

Having said this, I do need you to understand that as stressful as this crazy circus of a life is right now, it is by far the most amazing, fun, thrilling, and energizing thing in my life. Provo was as always wonderful. It is always fun to see old faces and make new Bijou friends.

Spending two days straight with these lovelies makes bijou over the top for me which makes me so glad that we get another day this coming Saturday. So if you were feeling blue because you didn't get down to Provo this weekend cheer up, we will be up in Taylorsville for our first ever Bijou Market Salt Lake City.

In the meantime, if you missed seeing me talk about the Bij on Fox take a look. click here.

coming soon, my Bijou Market picks.



I thought that this would be the year that Gavin finds out the "big secret." Not that I want him to find out, we have just done a really bad job hiding gifts and lists. I have to say that I think we got Gavin back on the right track last night.

Last night Gavin gave us a riveting FHE lesson about prayer to fulfill a cub scout requirement, and after we made our way to Parker's Drive in for 25 cent ice cream cones {for you locals every Monday is 25 cent cones at the Parker's in American Fork} and then Chad remembered we needed a light bulb for our refrigerator, so we hauled everyone in. If your kids are like mine, they ask for EVERYTHING when we go to a store. Last night was no exception and they{mostly Gavin} were getting on our nerves about buying a video game, when we saw and old gentleman who looks A LOT like Santa. We pointed him out to Gavin and told him that he was Santa and he was watching him so he better stop asking for things and be good.

You would think that seeing a man that clearly looked like Santa would be enough to make any child into an instant angel, but Gavin didn't buy our story for a second, so I whispered to Chad to go and ask the gentleman if we would be Santa for our kids. So while I kept the kids occupied Chad slipped away and asked the man if he would help us out, and then told him our kids names.

After a lot of prodding we finally got the kids to go over and ask if he was Santa, but before Gavin could even say anything "Santa" said "Hello Gavin, how have you been this year?" Gav, turned as white as a ghost and stood there silent. Then ,without any help or info from us the "Santa" said, "Are you going to ask me to bring you a video game this year, I thought you would be sick of those by now?" I couldn't have scripted it better myself. The day before we told the kids we didn't want them to ask for any video games this year.

Then he sat and talked with Milo about the drums he wants. And of course as I was sitting there I realize I don't have a camera or my phone for a picture. It's okay though, I don't think Gavin or Milo will ever forget it. As we walked away Gavin said to Milo "That was the most amazing moment of my life!"

So thank you to "Santa" in Walmart. That was the best gift you could give my kids this year!


Boston II & III

If you were wondering about the rest of my vacation to Boston, wonder no more! Here you go.

Day 2
Location: Plymoth, Plimoth, Plymouth and Cape Cod
Lessons Learned: I would be a horrible Pilgrim, but I think I could hack it as an Indian thanks to the menstruation houses. {another post entirely} Rachel Ray gives good advice on eateries.

Clockwise from top left:
-Thatched roof at Plimoth Plantation
-"Surfing" on a cannon
-Millie, Mom Pilgrim {who doesn't know what a camera is} and me
- The Lobster Trap, great seafood at a fraction of the price
- Plimoth Plantation- Everyone should go here. SO FUN!
- Plymouth Rock
-Us with some pilgrim women who also didn't know what a camera was
- Camille eating a boys daily catch
- My mom and I napping pilgrim style.
- Hanging from a cannon
- trying to catch a chicken
- Looking out the porthole of the Mayflower II
- My mom hunting with some pilgrims {she was a good sport even though she did not want to pose for this picture AT ALL!}
-Hanging out in the captains quarters on the Mayflower II
-Eating in the captains quarters on the Mayflower II
- Millie and I playing with our dinner at The Lobster Trap
-Trying to decide if we should buy these amazing hats
-Eating dinner with the Indians
-Inside the Pilgrim fort
- Millie being sea sick {or dead} in the Mayflower II
- Helping and the Indians fish
- Rubbing the Indians bum for good luck {does that work?}

phew- Are you still with me? Okay here is the rest.

Days 4 &5
Lexington, Concord, Salem, Cambridge, Walden Pond
Lessons learned: Salem is LAME!!!, Emerson and I have the same idea for gravestones, Massachusetts in the Fall can't be beat

Clockwise from top left:
- Monument of Mary Estes - one of the victims of the Salem Witch Trials, and an ancestor
-Philosophising with Thoreau
-Grave of Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Walden Pond
- The largest lighthouse we saw
- Sitting in Thoreau's house {he lived on Walden Pond for two years}

We honestly had such a great time, we saw lots of sights, got off the beaten path, strengthened relationships, and pretty much laughed the ENTIRE time.

p.s. if you were paying attention you will notice no Day 3, that day was deticated to shopping, an thrifting.


gift guide


We are a mere 7 days away from Bijou Market. If you want a sneak peek jump over to Bijoumarket.com. You can also see my Holiday Gift Guide, as well as Emily's and Nicole's. Have a great weekend!




Bijou Market is upon us, we are busy putting finishing touches on everything to make this our best Bijou Market yet. As it gets closer it is always fun to get a Google alert when people talking about the Market. This alert however was just weird... and a little funny. Click here. Ever wonder what happens to pictures of you? This is what happens, they end up on some strangers foreign blog. Totally normal.

By way of invitation here you go...


My sister Camille {number four} is living in Boston for a year and so my Mother and I hopped a plane to spend a week with her. Words alone can't express how wonderful it was. I didn't realize how much fun a trip with your mom and one sister can be. And until you have seen New England in the fall, forget about it.

Day one
Location: Boston, MA
Activites: Freedom Trail, Mike's Pastry, etc.
Lessons Learned: Bostonians have no patience when it comes to driving, or walking or anything really. No one says excuse me. Everyone walks EVERYWHERE! Unless you are very brave {like me} do not wear a Lakers T-shirt in Boston, you will get lots of comments and dirty looks.

Clockwise from top left"
-bulidings are so close to each other you could jump from one to the other
-One of many pictures I took of architecture that inspired me
- me, millie, and mom after our trip to the top of Bunker Hill Monunment
- posing at Fauevil Hall
- amazing grave stones, I took about fifty more just like this one
- Old North Church, you know one if by land two if by see...
- Sweets brownie cupcake
- Memorial to soldiers killed in the Iraq wars
- Lobster roll, you can't leave Boston without trying one
- Millie and Me standing in front of Paul Revere the statue
- Bunker Hill Monument {294 steps to the top}

August's guide to carving a pumpkin

Step 1 have dad open the pumpkin

Step 2 Put my hand into the pumpkin

Step 3 get grossed out about the pumpkin

Step 4 Think about putting my hand back into the pumpkin, while also thinking "why do people think this is fun?"

Step 5 Show dad how gross the pumpkin is in case he doesn't already know

Step 6 Hand back into the pumpkin. Seriously I am almost two, I have got this!

Step 7 I will show this pumpkin who is boss. You will not beat me little pumpkin.

Step 8 Am I done yet? Forget it, my mom will finish this for me.


Halloween roundup

Halloween is my favorite holiday. People don't understand why I love it even more than Christmas, I don't even understand it but I do love Halloween the most. So here is our re cap of my most favorite of Holidays.

I will start with Nightmare Express. This is a fun tradition for our family, that Gavin tells me each year he will only attend if the sun is still shining. He tries his best to act tough but this VERY mild train ride/spook alley always makes him want to hold our hands and not leave our side. For you locals click here for more details.
Next is the Lines Halloween Party. We always do different costumes for this party than the ones we wear on Halloween, usually something easy and cheap {meaning whatever we can find around the house.} One year Chad and I went as my Mom and Dad. This year we opted for a Meet the Robinsons theme. Meet Louis, Wilbur and the Bowler Hat Guy sans the bowler hat.

Onto pumpkin carving. we only have one rule in our home, you can't trace. You can copy a picture but you have to free hand it. That said, Gav decided he was on his own this time around and the result was pretty good, for 8. We only had to remind him every 12.7 seconds to move his fingers out of the way of his knife.

Chad went with Oogey Boogey, Milo of course did a Y, and I crafted a waving Brobee from Yo Gabba Gabba for August because he was too busy running around yelling How-ween, How-ween!

My neighbour Emily and I decided to host a costume parade this year to kick off Trick or Treating. Not expecting more than five people at this shin dig I was so excited to see so many fellow lovers of the Holiday come out and support.

Happy Halloween...yesterday!



It amazes me how easy it is to get behind with posting. No matter, last week Chad and I took one of those monumental {at least to me} steps and celebrated ten years of being Mr. & Mrs. Ten years! Until then I hadn't stuck to something that long except maybe breathing and biting my nails.

We will be officially celebrating our anniversary in December with a trip to Hawaii, so we opted for no presents. But chad did plan a pretty great night for us. We started with dinner at Ruths Chris.

Then Chad took me to the cutest bookstore in the world, I could always spend HOURS there, and buy EVERYTHING. Honestly if you need something adorable go to Dolly's Bookstore in Park City.

After that we went to our spot on Temple Square, where we exchanged letters we had written to each other. Our spot is where Chad proposed to me ten years ago, and on that day I remembering how amazing it felt to be sitting there with Chad, almost certain that the way I felt couldn't get any better. Well Rashelle of ten years ago I have news, it is so much better.


house arrest

I am the mother of a juvenile delinquent. Long story short our dear little dog Jeffery journeyed one street over where he encountered a rather large and angry dog and a man on a bicycle. He didn't really get the best of the big dog but he did come out better than the man who ran over him with the bicycle. His little excursion ended when the the animal control officer arrived to detain him. So know we have a dog with a record and has spent the last week and a half on house arrest. Good news though, today marks his end of DT and to close out his case all we needed to do was take a little trip to the vet.

He has turned over a new leaf and doesn't he look very penitent.

(picture taken at a stop light on the way to the vet)


Betsey Johnson said...

“Girls do not dress for boys. They dress for themselves, and of course, each other. If girls dressed for boys, they’d just walk around naked at all times.”
I am not condoning walking in the nude, but Betsey makes a great point and I can honestly say that I do not dress for anyone but me. Chad doesn't always like what I am wearing. He doesn't understand why I wear skirts to football games or Wedge heels and leggings to ride the Alpine slide, or when we are going out to a casual dinner I opt for a glittered jacket and heels {doesn't he realize that I did dress down by wearing jeans} Case in point I was pretty excited to get these

and when I put them on for the first time, Chad could not understand what I was so happy about. But after explaining to him why these pants make me happy {the color, the fit, the way they make my butt loo etc.} he concluded that if these amazing {my words not his} varnish effect trousers made me happy then he was happy. So even though he doesn't get it, at least he lets me be me. And that is better than getting it, i think.


gum and august

August loves Gum. August knows how to be sneaky. Put these two aspects together and this is what I end up with.

We will see how is digestion systems handles this when he is seven


Do you ever have those days when you feel like you have done a lot but don't have anything to show for it. When I have those days, {like today} I like to give my self a little boost by recapping my day in numbers.

13 bills paid
3 times sweeping the floor
1 time mopping the floor
3 spills cleaned up
1 preschool field trip
4 moments to myself {using the bathroom}
9 number of times I died "helping" Milo play a video game
14 books I read to August
5 amount of times I had to tell Gavin to get on his homework
4 outfit changes for Milo
12 amount of times Milo asked me if he could change his clothes again.
60 minutes of trying keeping kids and basketballs off the court at Gavin's practice
1 pot of taco soup
20 minutes of uninterrupted time chad and I had to debrief about our day
6 trips into August room to put him down for naps and bed
7 times getting August off after he climbs on the dishwasher

the next time you are feeling like you didn't do enough in a day, make a list. It really helps put your role into perspective



Deciding to throw a four year old birthday party can make someone crazy. Deciding to throw a party dedicated to all things messy can make one completely insane. Luckily for me I am a master of controlled chaos. {Which is exactly what a messy birthday party is, just in case any of you were wondering} So 15 cans of shaving cream, 12 boxes of cornstarch, 8 bottles of paint later, and 14 boxes of Jell-o later, we were ready to party.

We let the kids paint their faces and bodies and glitter gel their hair

Then they painted with their hands and feet

Looking for prizes in goo. {cornstarch and water}

My grandmother being completely mortified and confused as to why adults would let kids go crazy

A relay game of, pop the shaving cream filled balloon on your head

Everyone went through the kid wash

{please enlarge this picture and notice the looks of sheer terror on all of their faces}

All you can eat "messy foods" like powdered donuts, pudding, jell-o, Cheetos etc.

cake is boring, banana splits are extra messy!

Happy Messy Birthday Milo!


final days of summer

With the warm weather is escaping us we thought it would be a good idea to take advantage of my families monthly FHE and have an impromptu pool party.

It has taken an entire summer but Milo will finally enter the pool not wrapped around me, cling for his life.

August was on a never ending cycle of jump in pool, get cold, get out, wrap up , eat a cracker, repeat.

These kinds of days make you wish for an endless warm summer.
Goodbye summer, see ya soon.


I would rather

I haven't ever liked going to the dentist, but my reasons for not loving it now aren't the same as when I was six. This is what I hate about the dentist as an adult.

Sitting in the very quiet lobby and trying to calmly explain to my children that the dentist is NOT scary and scouts honor the dentist is not going to give them a shot.

Listening to some young not married and mother of zero dental assistant tell you that your kids aren't brushing enough and you need to be more diligent. Ha Ha, well feel free to come join in the nightly battle of brush, floss and fluoride at my house.

Then sitting next to my child in the dentist chair, palms sweaty, holding my breath as the dentist looks for one of a mothers sworn enemies, cavities. I don't handle suspense very well at all so this two minute period never goes over very well.

Finally the moment of truth, NO CAVITIES! You know it is true what they say, going to the dentist really isn't as bad as it seems... for six months anyway.


ch, ch, changes

I hate change, that is one of the reasons I have a phone from 2001. The other reason is I try to live by the mantra, why throw something out if it still works. My goldfish and I {inside joke if you have seen my phone} have been through it all, but I guess after the having something like 248 people thinking my phone is a play phone, and not really being able to rely on my phone working anymore, it is time for an upgrade.

So now my phone really is a play phone!


begin again

This year the first day of school seemed like any other day. Gav came home and said that 2nd grade is just like 1st grade. Maybe because he opted for clothes that he wore in 1st grade and not any of his "school clothes."

After I got this one on the bus I decided to do what every other mom does on a Tuesday in August.

I did not learn a thing about dinosaurs, but I can tell you what I did learn...

- Milo likes to "read" EVERY sign, look at EVERY picture and notice EVERY display. He most definitely takes after grandma dear!

- August is more than happy to join any and every group other than the one he comes with.

- Gavin is worth his weight in gold as my helper. Now I see why mom's home school. Chasing a one year old is so tiring.


almost over

Maybe it was the anxiety of one last week of summer vacation, or maybe it was the urgency of fall, whatever it was the Johansson's summer checklist was in full swing last week. Here is a sampling.


Kool Aid Stand

Fort building

Seven peaks

August does a good job keeping everyone fed.

August is pointing to an airplane flying by, one of his many talents

Iron Port and Scones

I even took a turn at sleeping out on the trampoline {sorry no pics} with the two oldest. Since we are all back in school here is a little math problem for you-

crickets + full moon = worst night sleep ever!!!

I would take a crying newborn before I do that again. Honestly, I would be such a terrible pioneer.

Happy end of Summer all!