Category Archives: parenting

Bad Days and Miracles


On January 31st Rachel and I welcomed our second son into the world, Oliver Bruce Johnson. Bringing a child into the world is beautiful, miraculous, joyous, and mysterious. But newborns are challenging and we’ve experienced more than we bargained for. Rachel had some complications during the delivery, which I won’t go into now, but it’s left us experiencing an array of contrasts over the past week or so. There has been profound joy side by side with suffering. Pain, frustration, exhaustion, anger, longing, sadness, anxiety have all been swirling around in our hearts and minds. We’ve had bad days, yesterday was particularly challenging and yet despite all that, God has been faithful and held our spirits aloft. We’ve been trying to take each day one at a time and there are so many reminders of God’s love; sun shinning into apartment, Rachel’s mom helping out, friends and family visiting, friends bring meals, good food, good coffee, the Olympics, frangipane, laughter, music… all miracles. And the greatest of miracles: our children. Archie our first and Oliver our newborn certainly test our patience at times, though never cease to bring us joy, lighting up even the darkest of moments. God is good, in the midst of suffering, God is good.


watercolor alphabet flashcards

So, we have a little reader on our hands.

I’ll often be getting ready in the morning, and I will peek over into our living area and see a scene like this: Archie immersed in one of his favorite books. Since he was pretty little, we have intentionally tried to foster a love of reading. The library has become part of our weekly or every other week routine. We read to him often and he is always requesting different books. I definitely think this is something you need to foster, maybe kids can love reading on their own without much parental involvement, but in this day in age, with screens so prevalent, I think it really falls on the parents to open kids’ minds to the love of reading.
So, since he loves “reading” or looking at books, I decided to make him some alphabet flashcards to teach him the individual letters. I’m sure you can buy something like this, but I thought they would be fun to make, especially since I’ve been into watercolors lately.
So, I bought some blank flashcards and then just painted one letter on each card in different colors. Once they were dry, I outlined the letters with a black sharpie. Easy peasy. I bought little ring enclosures at Target to bind them together.

While I was at it, I decided to make number flashcards too, 1-10. IMG_2505
It was a fun, easy project and I hope it helps him get to know his letters and numbers at an early age!


Our son, Archie, who is 2, is at such a fun age. His vocabulary is increasing by the day and he is constantly cracking us up. We thought we’d share some of the crazy, cute things that daily come out of his mouth!

He can say a few things that contain a string of 4-5 words…like:

“Where did that come from?” ….which sounds like….”wherethatcafrum”


or ” what happened to the cave?” (he’s really into caves, tunnels, bridges and forts lately) …which is more like…”whathappenthecave?” again all meshed into one word…

Whenever we see a Target logo, Archie says “Target!”… brand recognition at an early age! Maybe too early! But his dad does work there, so it makes a little more sense 🙂

• He calls any and all cereal “oboes”, we think it originated from him trying to say cheerios, but he is constantly asking for “oboes”. And when he wants water he asks for “Abba”…but he’s starting to say water the correct way which makes us a little sad.


• Whenever he asks for something, we usually say “Do you want X?” and instead of saying yes, he always says “okay”. He says “okay” to everything. And if he’s kind of panicked, he’ll start a string of okays….okay, okay, OKAY!

• He loves being outside. Whenever we walk out the door, he raises his hands in delight and says “Ahside!!” It’s pure joy for him to be outside. You would think he’s never been out of the house.


• When he’s really having fun doing something, like running or getting wet by a sprinkler, he’ll exclaims over and over “FUN!”…

• Or when he doesn’t like something, he’ll say, “Ike it, Ike it!” in a mad tone! Or sometimes he says “No Ike it!”


• When he wakes up in the morning, he usually comes into bed with me to snuggle, which he calls “Nuggies.”

• Whenever he sees a coffee cup he wrinkles up his nose and makes a sniffing noise. It’s so funny and cute. He must think that coffee has a strong smell.

I hope we can remember these precious little Archie-isms. He is our joy and we are so thankful for the gift that he is in our life (even if he is a lot of work sometimes).